Return To Paradise


Series: The Garden of Eden, The Overcomers

Sun am 14 May 2017 – Kobus Swart

Gen. 1:27; (Gen. 2:8-9, 21-22); Gen. 5:1-2; (Luke.3:37-38); Rev. 2:7; John 1:1-2 &14, 29; (John 14:6);

Gen. 11: 3-4; Isa. 14:13-15; John 3:13; John 21:1-6; Matt. 1:17; Heb. 4:12; Phil. 2:5-8; Rom. 16:20; Gal. 4:19 Amp; Rev. 12:3-5; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 21:6-8; (Heb. 2:10); (John 17:21-22); 1 John 2:14; (Rom. 8:18-23)

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27). God put Adam into a deep sleep (Gen. 2:21-22) in order to bring Eve from his side. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man (Adam) in the day when they were created (Gen. 5:1-2). Nobody can erase this truth! We have been created by God in His likeness and in His image. Nobody can question that, no matter what the evolutionists say.

The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:8-9). It is difficult to explain this and take it absolutely literally. What do these trees look like? Catch the deeper truth. We have to read it with the eyes of the Spirit to find out how relevant it is for us. How does it affect me? What can I learn from it? Adam was referred to in the genealogy of Jesus as the son of God (Luke 3:37-38). Mankind disobeyed God and they were banned from the garden, banned from that place of intimacy with God, that state of being where God and man had daily fellowship with each other. That is why it is called “Paradise”.

The physical locality of that garden was never found, but that should not shake your theology as it is not critically important. The word ‘paradise’ seems the most fitting place, that wonderful place where heaven and earth met. The word ‘paradise’ was adopted in the Hebrew language by the post-exilic rabbis, in particular, to speak of the ‘garden of God’. So ‘paradise’ and ‘garden of God’ are talking about the same thing.

It is interesting to compare the Genesis of the New Testament (John 1) with Genesis 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (John 1:1-2). And the Word became flesh (John 1:14). John gave another way to view the ‘beginning’. It has almost gone full circle. The only way back to the garden (or Paradise) of God, is the Tree of life, which is Jesus Christ! He said it Himself (John 14:6). He was in the beginning; He is going to be at the end. They missed Him in the beginning and the only way back is Jesus Christ!

What is the meaning of the two trees in our daily life and choices? The danger is always there to eat of the ‘wrong tree’. Many people will say: “Eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means sinning”. Not necessarily, sinning (=missing the mark) is wrong, but Satan is much cleverer than to force you into sin. Satan comes as an angel of light (religious Spirit), he brings religion your way; he sets traps for us in our daily choices. What is the bottom-line? What makes man want to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? It is a short cut to becoming like God without God. There is always a desire in man to be like God. ‘I want to do something better than everybody else’. Like with the tower of Babel:… Let us make a name for ourselves (Gen.11:3-4). It sounds so innocent. Beware of plans that exclude God! (Isa. 14:13-15). Let us rather follow the example of the pattern Son, who is the model to follow. Jesus came to this earth as the exact representation of God (John 1:14). In Him heaven and earth met. He was in heaven on earth (John 3:13). Jesus did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but He emptied Himself (Phil. 2:5-8). He is the pattern to follow, not the tower of Babel mentality which says, “Let us …” That is where Babylonian religion comes in. There is a lot of deception that can come on the wings and frequency of religion. May God help us to be wide awake.

We looked at eating of the tree of life; what does it mean? And what is the role played by the Word that is living and powerful? (Heb. 4:12). The Living Word represents the Word made flesh. There are a tremendous integration and sameness between Jesus and the Word of God. You cannot want access to Jesus but not want the Word. The Word of God is number one in our fundamental values – more than experiences, shows and programmes.

Read John 21:1-11: The disciples went back fishing after the crucifixion but caught nothing. Then Jesus waited for them on the beach! He then told them to cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat. Why the right-hand side of the boat? There is a deeper story than the story; there is a deeper meaning that we need to catch. Doing things with your “left” hand means doing it by your own power and ability but with your “right” hand you are moving in that which is more spiritual and not your own strength. Then they caught large fish, 153 of them. What is the significance of the number 153? There is a reason. There was a miracle playing out. The number 153 is very significant in physics, in mathematics and in Bible numerology. According to Bullinger the phrase “sons of God” appears 7 times in the Bible. Gematria is when you find that every letter has a numerical value in the original language. When you look at the Hebrew word for ‘sons of God’: BEN-HA-ELOHIM adds up to 153. According to Strong concordance, the term ‘sons of God’ appears in the Bible 11 times. The Bible says there were large, (=mega) fish, which is a type of the overcomer. Jesus is the pattern for the overcomers. It is that group of saints that attains to the high calling of God and come forth to destroy the works of Satan (Rom. 16:20).

We looked at the 42nd generation – the generation called Christ (Matt. 1:17). He is the tree of life,  the Head of a new humanity (Heb. 2:10). He is the pattern Son. The old order of pharisaical religious systems will never bring you to sonship. You must come ‘outside of the gate’. Come to the stormy banks of the Jordan River like Jesus the pattern son did. In many ways, there is a very strange new order that God is anointing in this hour. You can follow the Pattern. John the Baptist was born in a religious structure; his father was a priest in the ecclesiastical system of his day, which had become a religious system. Although there were still some good priests in Jerusalem, they tried to work with the religious leaders and stayed in the system to try and reform it. John the Baptist had to go out of the city, out of the system, to the banks of the river Jordan and start proclaiming. The same thing is happening today. Then Jesus appeared and wanted to be baptised. John baptised Jesus and it was a miraculous experience for John (John 1:29). After the miraculous experience of that day, John’s ministry should have come to an end; he fulfilled his purpose. Many of his disciples began to follow Jesus but John did not and landed in prison, started doubting, and lost his head (Matt. 14:8). Likewise, there have been movements that originated in powerful revivals, moves of God that gradually became movements of man. Even though they saw the new season, they failed to make the transition and lost their ‘headship’ or governmental role in the transition. The same will happen to many prophetic movements in our time if they fail to move on. The oneness Jesus is praying for will not come about by agreements, structures and organisations (John 17:21-22). Oneness cannot be organised, it cannot be reached by structures of man. Our oneness will come when our focus is on the pattern Son; He is our model. Jesus is the finished works of God. He is the alpha (beginning), and the omega (end) (Rev. 21:6).

That is why the purpose of all true ministry should be: My little children, for whom I am again in [the pains of] labor until Christ is [completely and permanently] formed within you (Gal. 4:19-Amp). This should be the burden, the passion of every authentic ministry in the five-fold graces. The burden is not to build organisations or to restore apostolic glory. Yes, God gives the graces to be used correctly with this burden in our hearts: “Father we pray for the Son to be fully, completely formed in the Church”. On the cross He was asked by the one thief, “Please re-member me when you are in the kingdom”. What does ‘re-member’ mean? When mankind sinned, they were banned from the garden, they were dis-membered (lost their ‘membership’ in the garden). This man saw the truth and said, “Re-member me”. That is why Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise!” “Lord Jesus collect me again into that Kingdom and give me back my original place”. Full sonship is God’s plan for the mighty body of Christ. You and I cannot draw a line; we cannot choose who should become an overcomer. We have to sow the seed, release the truth and let the Holy Spirit quicken it in your heart.

… And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne (Rev. 12:3-5). Then … there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15). Can you see the 42nd generation? Can you see the corporate Christ? Can you see the overcomer, the male child? Can you see the sons of God, the corporate Son? Then He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev. 21:6-8). The overcomers are part of the sons of God, the corporate Son. Which group to you want to be part of?

We are called to be overcomers! The ‘young men’ are those who overcome the evil one (1 John 2:14). How is this end time going to unfold? Do we need mega churches or mega sons? God weighs us; our spiritual weight is what counts. I trust the Holy Spirit will release a hunger in our heart to be part of the sons of God. All of creation is in travail for the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:18-23).