1 JOHN AND THE STORY OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN

PART 1
M.F. Blume

  John's little epistle is a most blessed book, but hard to clearly follow unless you know the key to understanding it.  A hint of that key is seen in this first verse.  John makes reference to the "beginning", and this immediately implies the Book of Genesis and the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden.

The fact that John opens up his epistle with a reference to the beginning is notable and especially interesting when we consider that the Gospel of John also opens up with that thought.
 

John had some wonderful insights about the Genesis account and God's eternal purpose as initiated in the Book of Genesis.

Throughout his first epistle, John repeated a certain thought several times.  Notice:
 

Clearly the thought of Christ as Son of God was tantamount in John's mind.  Now many people today who have a church background would likely agree with the thought that Jesus is the Son of God.  However, many of these people neither live for Jesus Christ nor are professing church-attendees, who will readily admit they are not serving God.  So, does their confession that Jesus is the Son of God indicate that they are saved and true believers who are overcoming the world?  Certainly not.  Then what did John mean when he said that the ones who believe Jesus is the Son of God are the overcomers?

The answer to this is found in our study of how 1 John must be understood with the story of Adam and the Garden of Eden as related to us in Genesis.
 

JESUS THE SON OF GOD

The Bible clearly explained that Jesus was fully human, though He was God manifested in flesh, and that he was therefore called the "Last Adam".
  This is contrasting Adam in Genesis with Jesus Christ.  And it implies that due to Adam's fall into sin, God required "another" Adam.

In fact, the first Adam was also called Son of God in the Bible.
 

So the key point to note first in the study of 1 John is that faith that Jesus is the Son of God implies that Jesus Christ is the Last Adam.  Since the first Adam was "head" and regent under God over all the world and over soon-to-come humanity, his fall required another Adam to replace him and continue the plan for mankind which Adam was originally meant to fulfill.

God gave Adam dominion over the world.
 

Adam was intended to subdue the earth.  In other words, he was meant to overcome.

Being a king of the world, Adam was "anointed".  Kings were anointed to rule under God in God's strength.  Oil was poured on their heads from a "horn" in indication of "power" from God being disposed upon the king to reign righteously and wisely.

John said...
 

Jesus is the Christ.  Christ means "anointed one."  Jesus is the anointed one.  There is no other who holds His position.  Adam was anointed but fell into sin, and Jesus Christ came to be the anointed one, the King, and do what Adam never did do.

We must recognize that Jesus is the ONLY Son of God in the position of Headship over all people who have anything to do with God.  Jesus heads up a New Creation of humanity.  Outside of Him and faith in Him, one is lost.  There is no way to have eternal life without recognizing that He alone is the Son of God over all new creation, and what He said is the ONLY way of salvation.  When John said we must believe He is the Son of God, John was saying He is the Head of New Creation.  He is the One with whom we must become "brothers."  Somehow we must be made a multiplication of Him.  He is the One to whom God the Father has given the command, first given to Adam, to multiply and fill the earth.  He is the One from whom all people of God will be multiplied.

By choice we can be of the multiplication.  By faith we can be children of God through recognizing that Jesus is the New Adam.  The Son of God.  There are many sons of God today because Jesus is THE Son of God.  Each son of God today has recognized that eternal life only comes from Jesus Christ and nobody else.  Those who do not know Jesus as their Saviour simply are not children of God.  It is as though we must look at Him as the one who plucks fruit from the Tree of Life and hands it to us, for He is Lord and King of the Garden of the Kingdom today.  Without Him, you cannot get to the fruit of life and be saved.
 

REDEMPTION THAT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE

At this point I must explain a vital truth.  It was not God's will for man to fall into sin.  God had a purpose for mankind to fulfill, and by keeping the Garden and protecting it from wickedness, Adam would not have fallen and would have fulfilled that purpose.  He would have multiplied and filled the earth with like sons of God as he was.  God's will was that Adam receive the fruit of Life and thereby carry God's very Life inside himself.  And when Adam would act after having that Life in him it would be in obedience to God's nature within.  God would thereby manifest Himself through Adam.  Adam was meant to be a vessel of God's Spirit or Life.  And with a world filled with such sons of God, God's glory would then fill the earth.  Filling the earth with glory is God's purpose for mankind.  Find a concordance and look at all the references in the Bible to do with filling the earth with glory and how that man is called to glory.

But, alas, Adam slipped and fell.  He did fulfill the role of a vessel, but he contained the wrong "filling".  He ate the fruit from the tree from which God told him to not eat.

Therefore God planned redemption for mankind.  So we see that redemption is only a remedy for the fall of mankind.  But long before redemption was necessary, God intended man to not fail, albeit He knew man would since God knows the future.  But that does not mean God willed man to fail.

Redemption involved another Adam, sinless as the first Adam was created sinless.  And since all descendants of Adam were tainted by the curse of sinning, God had to find a way in which to bring about a sinless Adam but at the same time bring deliverance to the rest of us who were made sinners by Adam's disobedience.

That plan involved God, Himself, the Lord from Heaven, becoming that Adam, that new Son of God.  Jesus Christ would head up a new race of humanity.  A new humanity.  Since He is the Last Adam, God willed that there be no more Christs -- no more anointed ones with that particular anointing to head a new humanity.

So we are told by John to believe that Jesus is the only Head of God's new humanity.  there will never be another Head and King like Jesus Christ.  Nobody since Adam until Christ was ever positioned in the place in which Jesus Christ was positioned.

Jesus was tempted like Adam was, but whereas Adam failed and yielded to temptation, Jesus Christ never failed!  Praise God!  We must stick to the One who never failed!
 

FELLOWSHIP BROKEN

Adam's fellowship with God in the Garden was real.  It was intimate and wonderful.  Adam walked with God and talked to Him.  And all this blessed relationship with His Maker was broken when Adam disobeyed God.  God thrust him from the Garden of Eden, stripped him of his authority over the world, and made him a tiller of soil instead.  Adam went directly from King to Gardener in one day.  He was cast from his throne room, called the Garden.  He was kept out from the very Garden in which he was commanded to keep and protect.

But Jesus Christ, who fellowshipped with the Father, never disobeyed the Father and remained in fellowship with Him in the Garden of the Kingdom of God.  Adam was thrust out of his kingdom.  But Jesus remains king to this day!!

Here is the reason John begins speaking about fellowship.
 

Jesus Christ never failed, and remains in fellowship with the Father.  And John wrote that we are intended to fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.
 

MULTIPLY

God told Adam to multiply and fill or replenish the earth.  Adam literally was to multiply himself!  There as to be many "Adam's" or many sons of God.  We see that Adam indeed did multiply when his wife was made from His side.  God took a piece of Adam and formed a woman from that piece.  In other words, Adam multiplied.

And that multiplication would continue through Adam and his wife's children being born.  Every person on earth would be of the same material of Adam.  God did not make woman from the dust of the earth as He made Adam, because she was to be bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.  She was to be a result of Adam having multiplied.  And all children afterwards would therefore, having been born of the woman and begotten by the man, been a multiplying of Adam also.

Well, Jesus Christ showed us this principle in Himself also.  He took bread, which bread later was said to indicate his Flesh, and broke it and multiplied it.  One loaf grew and grew and grew to thousands of pieces.  All that food that fed 5,000 people came from few loaves.

In the upper room, at the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and gave pieces to each of the twelve.  Each of them ate those pieces.  He said the bread was His flesh.  And when all the disciples ate that bread we see a picture of Jesus being multiplied.  together they made up Jesus' Body.  That is why the Church is called the Body of Christ in Ephesians Chapter One.

So, like the woman, the church is bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh.  He has multiplied, and is yet multiplying.  He will multiply until every nation on earth has a son of God in it.  And when the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached to all nations, then shall the end come.  The Kingdom is His counterpart to the Garden of Eden.
 

ADAM'S SONS

Had Adam not failed, his sons, Cain and Abel, would receive a great responsibility upon themselves.  Had their father, Adam, eaten the fruit of life and resisted the serpent's temptation, and held onto God remaining in fellowship with his Father, Cain and Abel would have to fend for themselves in the same manner.  They could look to Adam for their example of strength.

Being head of humanity, Adam would have been looked upon as Leader.  Cain and Abel and all the others that would be born would have to follow Adam's direction under God and remain in fellowship with Adam and the Father.  They would have to resist temptation from the serpent.  They would have to "keep" their relationship with the Father and Adam intact.  These little children in the Garden were serpent-bait, but should they hold on to truth and follow God's Word and stand, they would grow strong in the Word of God and mature to perform their parts of manifesting God's glory in the world with the fruit of Life in  their bodies.

Well, all that never came to pass.  Adam sinned and Cain was a murdered and killed his brother Abel.  However, Jesus Christ did not fail and He remained in fellowship with the Father, and now we are in the position Cain and Abel were intended to be in had Adam not failed.  We have a responsibility.  And John speaks about it in his first epistle.

John grew to maturity and remained in fellowship with Jesus Christ and the Father.  And he wrote to "little children" who were begotten of Christ, bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh, to remain in fellowship, too.
 

Our only joy is to remain alive in the Kingdom of God, in the Garden, where Jesus Christ and the Father fellowship together.  We were created to be in that Garden.  We are meant to be "at home" in there.  therefore, our joy is only fulfilled when we are indeed in that fellowship.
 

REMAIN IN THE GARDEN

  All true children of God are born in the Kingdom.  But they must remain in there.  We will be cast out of the Garden if we fail to obey God's word as little children.

God has no darkness whatsoever in Him.  And if we want to fellowship with Him, we must ensure we "keep" ourselves from darkness.  The serpent lied to the woman and sought to put darkness in her soul.  The devil knew that God will not fellowship with one in darkness.  Fellowship with Him is in the Kingdom, and we must leave darkness to fellowship in the Garden of His marvelous light!
 

All sinful humanity is in the world of darkness outside the Garden of light.  And God called us out of darkness into that Garden of Light.  But as dear children we must remain in the light.  We must walk and live and abide in there.  If we sin we have not light.

John reveals that the same commandment from the beginning is the commandment we must yet obey today. The same commandment given to Adam is ours to obey.
 

The word from the beginning is the commandment first given to Adam "in the beginning".
  This was the very commandment the woman disobeyed and the very commandment the serpent targeted in his temptation to her.  And it remains the same today.  We >

Transfer interrupted!

sp; We must remain in fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ by refusing to eat of the forbidden fruit.  Satan is there to try to tempt us to disobey that old commandment, in order to see us thrust out of light into the devil's kingdom of darkness.

But John adds another thought.
 

John said the old commandment is still valid today.  But yet, because we have already been in darkness and have entered light, which Adam did not experience, there is an additional thought of the same commandment being new.  Our old lives were lives in darkness under the hateful attitude of the world.  John said, "Because the darkness is past, and the true light shineth," he has a new commandment to give to us.  Jesus said we must love God and love our brethren.  We must love our brothers, or else we are going out of the Kingdom and out of the light.  If we are abiding in darkness by hating our brother, we cannot remain in the light.  We are already out of the light  if we hate!

Cain and Abel were never in the Garden.  The mention of Cain and Abel immediately brings to mind the thought of Cain murdering Abel.  John alludes to this in his epistle and even mentions Cain's name later on!!

After Adam was thrust from the Garden, outside the Garden was where Cain and Abel's story begins.  Outside the Garden did Cain experience temptation to jealously envy his brother's acceptance before God and to subsequently kill his brother.  Outside the Garden did Cain yield to that urge.

We have been outside the Garden as well as our brothers. All of us who are in the light were translated from darkness into this light.  And since we were people outside the Garden where Cain killed Abel, we may recall oour old ways and be tempted to hate as we once did. Now that we are in the Garden let us not act like those outside the Garden.  Outside there is hatred towards one another.  We were once there and we once hated our fellow sinners, too.  So we have another new commandment because the darkness we were once in is past.  We must endeavour to love our brethren.

Satan tempted both the woman to eat the forbidden fruit and Cain to envy his brother and kill him.  Do not these two thoughts give rise to the two greatest commandments recorded in the Bible?
 

  Refusing to take the evil fruit but remaining faithful to eat the fruit of Life is to actually Love only the Lord our God.  And John said that if we Love God we will love our brethren.  That fruit of Life was God's Life, Himself!  Adam would have experienced the counterpart of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost had he eaten the fruit of Life.  This is none other than the Spirit of God.  And God is love.

So to resist the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is to love the Lord thy God alone and love our brethren as ourselves.

We will be thrust out for two reasons which are really the one single reason.  Refusal to refrain from the forbidden fruit and hatred towards our brothers will see us out.

John then speaks of the world.
 

THE FIRST PART OF THE COMMANDMENT

 

After referring to the old and yet new commandment, John speaks of the first part of it which is to love the Lord thy God.
 

This is a direct reference to the first commandment given to Adam in the form of refusing to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.  John lists three elements of the world.  To be attracted to and fall to any of these three is to disobey God.

When the serpent tempted the woman to disobey God's commandment, and eat the forbidden fruit, she noticed three things about the temptation.
 

She fell to the very three things John notes in his epistle.  Many have pointed this out, but it has not been clearly revealed how John's epistle parallels Genesis' story of Adam and the garden, and how the two greatest commandments are particularly referred to with that Garden story in mind.  And thus more insight is to be had regarding this threefold temptation.

John said THE WORLD is comprised of the three elements of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  He already referred to the old commandment and then to a new one.  He already alluded that the commandment to not eat of the forbidden fruit is equal to loving God alone and serving Him alone, and loving our brother as ourselves. And now John concentrates on the first part of that commandment, and says, in effect, that the eating of the forbidden fruit is involving oneself in the world - disobeying the demand to serve God alone.

Now, Adam and the woman were cast from the Garden into the world due to this very thing.  Since they partook of the "world" they were cast out into it.  They did not belong in the Garden if they filled themselves with the "world."

And we know that the forbidden fruit certainly referred to worldliness, because John distinctly said the very three elements which Eve saw in the fruit were the things that comprise the world.  He said these three things are not of the Father but are of the world.  What is of the Father is the fruit of Life.  One will not see these three elements in that fruit.  But the woman saw these three in the forbidden fruit, proving that the forbidden is the spirit of the sinful world.
 

SUBDUE THE  EARTH

You might ask why the world would be considered sinful in Adam's day before he fell.  Well, where did the serpent come from?  What was it that Adam was supposed to keep out of the Garden when God told him to "keep" it?  "Keep" means to protect.  Outside the Garden was the world.  And the devil was cast into that world.  His kingdom was ready to be set up as much as Adam's Kingdom was ready to move forward and SUBDUE THE EARTH.  God intended Adam to CONQUER the world.
  To subdue it means to bring it under control.  That means it was not under control.  God told him, in effect, to conquer the devil and drive him out of it.  The serpent was out there ready to begin a kingdom of darkness.  Adam was to conquer the earth.
  We know Satan fell before Adam was created, because Adam had to protect the Garden from something.  What else would that something be if not Satan?

The world was created and was very good, but Satan being in that good world was out to make it wrong.
 

Jesus said the casting out of devils is the coming of the Kingdom of God.  Since the devil was in the world, and since God told Adam to fill the world we see that God intended for man to drive the devil out and increase the territory of the Kingdom's dominion.  He told him to dress and keep the garden.  This means to increase and build it up while protecting it from contamination.

Adam was to drive the devil out.

John's epistle mentions this principle of the Adam.
 

Since the first Adam, son of God, failed, the Last Adam came to fulfill and not fail.

Instead of casting the devil out of the world, the devil saw to it that God cast Adam from the Garden Kingdom.
 

THE WOMAN'S TEMPTATION

  1) The tree was seen to be good for food
 (Lust of the flesh)

2) The fruit was pleasant to the eyes
 (lust of the eyes)

3) The fruit was desired to make one wise
 (pride of life)

John said these things are of the world.  And since in the demand to refrain from these things did John allude to as obedience to the command to love God and serve Him alone, we see this section of his epistle deals with the first commandment.
 

John said that all that is of the world will pass away.  In other words, eat that fruit and you will die the day you eat thereof, Adam.  But if you eat the fruit of life you will live forever.  If you refuse the world and all in it, and love the Lord thy God alone, you will receive eternal life.
  God told Adam he would pass away should he disobey.  John said if we indulge in the threefold temptations of the world we will pass away with the world.

...continued in Part 2


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