The End from the Beginning....
April 13, 2019
I must admit every time I study Genesis, I learn more about Abba's goodness and His great UNCONDITIONAL love for mankind. And then yesterday, after two weeks of discovering treasure after treasure in the depth of the Hebrew language, a flow of writing just bubbled forth. It was like I had filled a jar and Holy Spirit simply tapped it, producing a crack in which the last two weeks just flowed out. I do love writing these essays. They are all so different, and they provide me with a memoir of this beautiful journey of grace, my personal lech lecha!
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I can’t imagine what Adam must’ve felt after he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But it must have been a feeling full of fear, confusion, and insecurity…. feeling no longer ONE with the presence of Father, Son, and Spirit. Scripture merely says that they hid from the LORD God's presence among the trees because they felt naked. But cloaked within all of those Hebrew words, we glimpse what that moment looked may have like from Adam's perspective.
Oh, the beauty of the Hebrew language is so rich in expression. A language we sometimes have to dig and discover as an archaeologist would. Proverbs tells us that it's the glory of kings to search out a word. To search, examine, and investigate its depths.
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We’re not told what caused Adam and Eve to listen to another voice… to the voice of insecurity, the voice of absolute incompleteness… the voice of lack. They went from hearing the Voice of Father, Son, and Spirit in the cool of the day, in the safe, beautiful enclosure of ONENESS within Yahweh Elohim.
But now they had listened to another voice.
These divine ones believed the great lie that told them God had withheld a part of Himself from them. The lie that they were not FULLY made in the image and likeness of Elohim. And so, after partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they responded by withdrawing from God’s love. Scripture says they hid, which in Hebrew reveals a picture of withdrawing from love. They withdrew from the love that they shared in the ONENESS with Father, Son, and Spirit. And in their minds, the enclosure of oneness, the intimate union with Elohim that they previously enjoyed, was severed.
Genesis 3:8, "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden."
They hid in fear because they saw themselves as naked. They FELT separated from God. Their perception of God and themselves was altered. And THEY severed their relationship with God by closing their eyes to their enclosure in the ONENESS that is Father, Son, Spirit, and man…. in other words, they hid among the trees of the garden.
quote: “In one word, the ultimate lie is “separation.” Underneath every religion and philosophy in the world is the lie of “separation” – that the human race is separated from God. Then it becomes a matter of “OK, how do we get back to God, or how do we get God to us?” Now we have a series of variations on a theme: “How do we get across the divide from where we are to God, or how do we get God to bless us here?” ~ C. Baxter Kruger
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I don’t know how many years Adam & Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. Or how long they lived life in the FULLNESS of the Spirit…. living life participating IN the love and communion of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Walking, talking, loving… just simply KNOWING they were intimately included in this beautiful Godhead called Yahweh Elohim… the Divine Ones. Knowing they were also divine ones… as ONE IN the Divine Ones. FULLY enclosed in Them… enclosed in a union that couldn’t be broken even after they fell. Except in their own minds.
Yet, Scripture doesn’t tell us how long it was between Yahweh breathing the Breath of Lives into Adam and when he fell. I don’t even see in the Hebrew any hints alluding to how long they were there. It must not be of great importance. But we do know that they had spent ALL their days up until the fall as sons IN intimate, FACE TO FACE ONENESS with God, knowing and being known by Father, Son, and Spirit. So, how horrible to now feel separate from Them after having only known life, love, and goodness.
And now they would experience death…. something which they knew nothing about.
In Genesis 3:1, we find the serpent asking the woman a question. But he didn’t merely ask what we read in our English Bibles (KJV), “Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye, shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” That would allow for a yes or no answer. The word yea, in Hebrew, is the word aph. This word, in its ancient root, is a picture of an ox and a mouth. It means to breathe heavily through the nose in passion or anger. It was an angry hiss that literally in Hebrew said, “Even if God said do not eat from any of the trees of the garden…” It merely trails off into nothingness. The sentence has no end. He hissed, “EVEN IF…!” The term, even if, allows for personal opinion. It enables us to draw conclusions not based on what God has said, but on our thoughts, perceptions, and experiences. We do it in the area of healing all the time. EVEN IF God said that by His stripes, we are healed, our experiences say something different. EVEN IF allows for us to interpret that verse (by His stripes we are healed) through the lens of our beliefs, and experiences.
I like the Hebrew translation of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the tree of functional and dysfunctional discernment. The word functional is tov in Hebrew and means functioning within its intended purpose. Its ancient root means good, and surrounding the house with grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity. Those are the parameters of what functional or tov is. They are the parameters of GOOD. It also sounds like salvation (sozo) to me!
Adam had functional discernment before the fall…. he knew only good. We see that with his naming of the animals. He named them according to their design or function… for the intended purpose that they existed.
Dysfunctional is ra and is often translated as evil or wicked in our English Bibles. Ra means impaired or abnormal action, not functioning within its intended purpose. It would be anything that doesn’t fall within the parameters of good (tov)… of grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity. So, to partake of this tree would be to have first-hand knowledge of something that is NOT grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity. It would be having an intimate experiential understanding of what God has NOT called TOV or good.
Here they were with this new knowledge, this new type of discernment. The discernment of what was NOT good…. of what was NOT grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity. And they were fearful because of their sudden perception of being naked (of lacking).
The word naked is mentioned several times in the story of Adam and Eve, having different meanings that are only apparent when looking at it in Hebrew.
In chapter 2, it says they were arom, meaning naked and unashamed, bare and unclothed. In other words, Adam and Eve were innocent, bold, feeling no guilt or regret. They were not conscience-stricken. They were ONLY clothed with an awareness of their ONENESS with God, and who they were IN Him. They were transparent and comfortable in their FACE TO FACE relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit. They understood ONLY that they were the image and likeness of God, divine IN HIM. Their nakedness, their arom was not an issue for them.
But now, here in chapter 3, we find Adam is afraid and quivering behind a tree. His fear isn't a fear of God, but of his PERCEIVED nakedness. His awareness of being naked terrified him – it even trumped any shame of disobeying.
And his perception was now outside God's parameters of GOOD — grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity. He no longer saw himself whole and complete!
This caused him to hide from God… withdrawing from the FACE TO FACE relationship he had with the Father, Son, and Spirit. He turned away from Abba, telling Him that he is naked and afraid. The word for naked that he uses now, here in chapter three to describe himself, is erom and is also used in Deuteronomy 28:48. In Deuteronomy, the word erom describes being enslaved to an enemy whose purpose is to destroy and completely annihilate one’s condition or existence!
This word also has its own set of parameters. They are hunger, famine, thirst, dryness, drought, naked (being uncovered, stripped), lacking in everything, and an iron yoke of oppression around your neck.
All of this Adam and Eve's eyes were now opened to. Opened to the understanding of in dying, you shall die. Now opened to the vast gulf between the parameters of naked and lacking (erom), and the parameters of good (tov). Opened to the understanding that now they would no longer see ONLY good, grace, beauty, love, health, and prosperity, as God had intended for them. NOW, they experienced the overwhelming fear of this new knowledge that had opened up in their understanding.
They now had an awareness of death that they were NEVER meant to have, that they were NEVER designed for.
And having no way of knowing how to get back now that they had eaten from the wrong tree. New feelings existed inside them at war with who God declared them to be. Feelings of hopelessness, fear, and regret. Feeling unprotected and in bondage to an enemy that they had never seen. And they responded to all of this by sewing together fig leaves to cover their nakedness (erom).
In Genesis 3:7, the word sewing is taphar and is also used in Job 16:15 when Job talks about his distress. He sewed sackcloth upon his skin and laid his horn, or his strength, in the dust. The next verse says his face is flushed. The word flushed is used twice to emphasize it. It was EXTREMELY flushed from bitter weeping, mourning, and crying tears of intense regret and disappointment. And on his eyelids was the shadow of death. The word eyelids is aphaph, and at its root, it means open eyes. Job’s eyes were opened to the shadow of death. And the reason he covered himself with sackcloth was that he felt God had delivered him up to the ungodly and turned him over to the hands of the wicked. Sounds like the definition of Adam’s perception of his nakedness. Adam’s eyes had now been opened, and on his eyelids was the shadow of death. One translation of eyelids is gaze.
Adam was now gazing at the shadow of death. In other words, he was now seeing his world through the shadow of death, through the darkness in his mind.
And so, he sewed fig leaves to cover this nakedness. The word leaves is aleh, and the ancient root of this word is al meaning to experience, to see, to know the shepherd’s staff or His leading. The last letter in aleh is hey, which is a breath or to sigh. This was the deep sigh of their heart. To experience His leading, know His rest once again. To be rescued from this chaos (this shadow of death) that had now entered into in their minds. And so, they covered themselves with fig leaves.
But all this did was provide a natural covering.
As I was looking at the phrase, sewed together fig leaves to cover them, in Hebrew. I saw in these words, the cry of this man and woman’s heart. The phrase sewed together means precisely that — to sew together. But Holy Spirit pointed out the Hebrew letters of this word. The first letter is tav (indicating a sign; it also is a picture of the cross), pey (meaning mouth), and resh (meaning the beginning). When combined it reads a sign of what was spoken from the beginning. The cross was the ETERNAL sign spoken from the beginning -- He was the Lamb slain from BEFORE the foundation of the world. Therefore, IT IS FINISHED was spoken from the beginning.
While sewing these leaves together to cover themselves, they were crying out for some kind of sign of what was spoken from the beginning — that they were still image and likeness of God, with dominion over all things.
God’s response to Adam was, “Who told you that you were naked… erom? Who told you that you were without My protection? Without My covering? Without my glory? Without My fellowship? And without My provision? Who told you that you were enslaved to an enemy, and no longer image and likeness of Me with dominion over ALL things?”
The Father saw beyond the fig leaves and heard the cry and the sigh of their heart for identity…. for a sign of what was spoken from the beginning! His response of "Who told you that you were naked?" is His assurance to them of their ETERNAL identity IN Him. That what was declared from the beginning, they are image and likeness of Him, COULD NOT be altered. And because He is such a good and loving Abba, He didn't send them out into the world uncovered. He clothed them!
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selah (pause and think about it): They had attempted to COVER themselves with fig leaves. But God CLOTHED them with garments of skin or tunics of skin. The word clothed is lavash. It is also used in Leviticus and Numbers, referring to the act of clothing Aaron in priestly robes. The word garments or tunics is kethenot in Hebrew, meaning robe. It is also used in Leviticus. This linen tunic was symbolic of atonement. Interestingly, they believed these garments (kethenot) served as an atonement for sin, IN THE SAME WAY, they believed the sacrifices also served as atonement for sin. This tunic of linen was what the high priest wore on Yom Kippur, on the day of atonement. It represented their righteousness IN Christ. And Revelation 19:8 and Isaiah 61:10 refer to these tunics as robes of righteousness.
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In clothing Adam and Eve in garments of skin, He was clothing them in righteousness.... in symbolic robes of righteousness. It represented their atonement or at-one-ment WITH Him. He was declaring them as priests upon the earth.... declaring to ALL men their FACE TO FACE at-one-ment with God!.
This selah moment is just to get you to think outside the box for a moment and consider what Adam and Eve being clothed represented or symbolized.
And then in chapter 3, we are privileged to hear a conversation that takes place between the Father, Son, and Spirit. I love these God conversations that we stumble upon in the Bible!
Verses 22-24 says, “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden 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 way to the tree of life.”
Hmmmm, Their conversation sounds pretty formal, cool, and distant. NOT AT ALL like the Father, Son, and Spirit I have come to know over the last couple of years. I’m glad the Hebrew language paints a more beautiful picture of these verses.
Adam and Eve had left the realm of the Spirit, the cool of the day experience. They lost their perception and understanding of spirit. BUT, God NEVER turned away from them… they were the ones who turned away. And when it was time for them to leave the garden, Abba would go with them!!
But before that happened, the Godhead would have a discussion about Adam and Eve's new knowledge of good and evil, of their new understanding of function and dysfunction. About the dualism that now existed in their minds. A conversation about what that would mean in this new world that they would now inhabit. A world where sin and death had now been introduced.
The first part of Genesis 3:22 says, “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.” Reading that verse on the surface level makes it sound like the great lie was true. In other words, they really weren’t like God — just like the serpent insinuated. This verse makes it sound like now, AFTER they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were now like God.
NO!! Eating from the tree did NOT add to their identity! All it did was hinder their understanding of their identity.
They were created in the likeness and image of God. There was never a moment in their lives that they didn't have God's nature in them — before the fall AND after the fall. God never withheld any part of Himself from them — the FULLNESS of Father, Son, and Spirit had been breathed into Adam (Genesis 2:7). Psalm 82:6 is God saying, “I said you are gods.” It's evident in Scripture that even after Adam's fall, his nature never changed.
So, what is actually being said in this verse: “Now they are like Us knowing good from evil?”
In Hebrew, it says ha'adam hayah, meaning the man existed. And then it goes on to say, k' echad mimenu, meaning as ONE from out of Us. It says, “man existed as ONE from out of Us.” The word mimenu denotes origin or source. In other words man was created from out of God – from out of Father, Son, and Spirit. And man exists as one. The word one is echad in Hebrew, and means to unite, as from the many parts of a whole. Man exists as ONE with Father, Son, and Spirit. FACE TO FACE with Them…. ONE! This is our identity…. our origin!
This verse does not say, “He has now become like one of Us.” That would make the lie true! Man didn’t become like God because he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!
The original Hebrew and the most authentic versions use the perfect tense of the word “has become.” The perfect tense denotes an action which is completed in the past (FINISHED!), but the effects of which are regarded as continuing into the present (NOW). The Samaritan text, the Syriac, and the Septuagint, have the same tense — Perfect.
The word from us is the prefix min in Hebrew and is composed of two Hebrew letters. The first letter is mem, which is a picture of water or other liquid such as blood. The letter nun is a picture of a seed representing a continuation of life. It means sons or heirs. It is the letter the Jews ascribe to the Messiah. Combined, they mean “blood sons.” I love that! The Father, Son, and Spirit are saying, "Despite their disobedience, they exist as sons because they have come from Us. We are the Source of their being. They are Our blood sons! And nothing they can do will ever change that!"
Mankind has ALWAYS been like God — image and likeness of God! FINISHED! And the effects continue into the present… meaning after the fall, Adam and Eve were still JUST LIKE God! Nothing changed except in Adam and Eve’s thinking. Now they knew good and evil – dualism. Now they believed the lie that they were NOT created image and likeness of God. And this unbelief of having God’s nature would hinder their ability to walk as His image and likeness in the earth – as sons reflecting their Father. Their “knowing” had changed… not their nature. But this knowing was TEMPORARY!
Mankind being made in the image and likeness of God was a FINISHED thing…. nothing could be added to it OR taken away from it! ALL that men lost was their SENSE (their awareness) of their identity and righteousness!
At the beginning of Their conversation (Genesis 3:22), Father, Son, and Spirit said, "Behold." In Hebrew, the word for behold is hen. At its root, the word hen is a picture of arms extended out and saying, "Look!" It is when one sees a magnificent site close by or in the distance. And he extends his arms out and sighs as if saying, "Ah, look or behold that!" It's looking toward a breathtaking sight or action. It's a sigh of desire or a sigh of pain, a continual looking toward "THERE." The word behold was not directing the reader's attention to the fall or even to Adam and Eve’s new “knowing”! This word is drawing our attention to a glorious and breathtaking event. An event of unparalleled magnitude — the creation of man! In other words, the fall paled in comparison! It could not destroy who man already was — sons in the image and likeness of God with ALL dominion over ALL things! The word behold is NOT God saying, “Oh man, look at that, Adam totally messed up! This changes everything!”
NO! Behold is God saying among Themselves, “Look what we did over THERE!! Look THROUGH the fall, PAST the mistake — look at the creation of Our beloved man!! The man existed as ONE from out of Us… sons in Our image and likeness! And NOTHING can change that.”
Man is ONE from out of Father, Son, and Spirit! The Godhead, Yahweh Elohim, is our Source. They are our starting point, our beginning, our origin! We are sons with the nature of God in us, and NOTHING ever changed that!
And the second part of verse 22 says, “They now know functional from dysfunctional… good from evil.” This word knowing is a Qal infinitive construct with prefix lamed indicating a temporary knowing. In other words, they are sons who still have (after the fall) full dominion on this planet earth. But now they will rule and reign from a knowledge of good and evil. Partaking from that tree introduced sin and death into their lives, and they will now live out of that dysfunction. They will govern the earth with their knowledge of good and evil…. judging life from their carnal understanding.
BUT remember it’s temporary!
God would now protect them and keep them from eating from the tree of life, and they will have to leave the garden. So this state of existence — mankind knowing good and evil and living in a world where sin and death exist — would be temporary. When the fullness of time had come, Jesus came into our worlds, into our darkness, and refused to walk in a fallen mindset…. He ONLY said what He heard the Father say, and He ONLY did what He saw the Father do. He lived life here IN the union of the Father and Spirit.
He took the axe to the root of the trees (Matthew 3:10), putting an END to that fallen mindset forever!! Restoring in ALL men the mind of Christ. IT IS FINISHED!!
So, in love, the Lord cast them out from the garden. He cast them out from the enclosure of all that was good. BUT He didn’t send him alone. It says, “So He drove out aleph tav the man.” Adam and Eve didn’t leave the garden alone. If you remember from earlier chapters where we talked about the aleph tav in Scriptures, it means strength and cross in word pictures. In other words, the strength or power of the cross.
It’s like a marker or a signpost in a verse where God is saying, “STOP! I put the aleph tav (the mark of the power of the cross here so that you will remember to read this through the lens of the FINISHED work of Christ.” It is a reminder of the FACE TO FACE relationship, the ONENESS we have with God (Father, Son, and Spirit) IN Christ.
metanoia moment: Aleph Tav is first and last…. just like Alpha Omega, and Author and Finisher. Aleph Tav is Jesus! It is the Person of Jesus and His FINISHED work. He was the Lamb slain BEFORE the world's foundation — ALL was FINISHED before there was ever a fall! The cross was eternal!
Revelation 13:8b says, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
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having been slain: The word slain is sphazo in Greek, meaning to slay in sacrifice. It is in a perfect verb tense, meaning it is a completed action with results continuing in the FULL effect. In other words, the Lamb's sacrifice was FINISHED before the foundation of the world. And the FULL results of that continued on.
What were the results of the Lamb being slain? IT IS FINISHED!! Jesus' FINISHED works were completed BEFORE the world's foundation AND continued in the world after its foundation.
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Adam left the garden, Aleph Tav! What a beautiful picture in Scripture of God never leaving nor forsaking man.
And then it says God set cherubim east of the garden of Eden and a flaming, whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life. The Hebrew language states that a bit different. In between cherubim and a flaming, whirling sword is aleph tav. One translation I read said the cherubim and the Blazing One… connecting aleph tav to the flaming, whirling sword. The Aleph Tav is The Blazing One! The root of the word flame is authority contained. And whirling is the act of overturning something; to turn something upside down to pour out its contents. And this cherubim and sword (or The Blazing One) were to guard the way to the tree of life. The word guard is also a Qal infinitive construct with a lamed prefix again expressing something temporal. And right before the word way is an aleph tav.
In other words, the guarding of the tree of life was TEMPORARY!!
Actually, there are four aleph tav’s in this verse!! Oh, what a beautiful promise of redemption that would come in Christ. He is the Blazing One. His authority was contained until the time appointed by the Father when He would come to take on flesh and FINISH in time and space what was FINISHED before the world's foundation. COMPLETELY removing ALL that hindered us from walking as divine sons! And we are ONE with Him who is the Tree of Life.
Verse 23 says that they were cast out to the east of Eden.
Specifically, it says they were cast out of the east of Eden… not north of Eden, or south or even west of Eden… EAST!
East in Hebrew is like our North Star. It orients them. It gives them a true direction. All Adam had to do was look to the East, look to Eden, look to the Beginning, to get his bearings when things got complicated. When he needed a reminder of his source and origin. It would be their true north, their fixed point in a world that had spun out of their control. A reminder of what was spoken from the first… they were still sons in the image and likeness of God.
And, so God went with Adam and Eve out of the garden. He kept reaching out and breathing out His love to them — even as mankind began to digress more and more away from what was true, and their ONENESS with God. David said if you ascend to the heavens, God is there or to hell's depths, He's still there! God was always there, pursuing them in love. Refusing to let go of them no matter how far they turned from Him. Even if mankind forgot who they were, God knew! He knew they were divine, eternal ones who had come from Him and would one day be reconciled to Him. Oh, the joy that must’ve exploded from His heart when the fullness of time had come! His mind, His heart, had ALWAYS been on His beloved mankind! There was NEVER any separation between God and man, except in man’s imagination.
Is that why Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11? It says He was hungry as He came out of Bethany. Bethany means house of figs or house of affliction. Adam’s nakedness, erom, spoke of affliction, hunger, famine, neediness. It says He saw the fig tree from afar.
Did Jesus see the fig leaves, and it stirred within Him the remembrance of Adam and Eve’s perceived nakedness after eating from that tree?
It says, He cursed it and said, “May no one ever eat (partake) of your fruit again.” In His death, He put the ax to the root of the trees (of sin and death) and threw them into the fire. Jesus obeyed, and He COMPLETELY undid all of Adam’s disobedience. He abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Jesus, the Tree of Life, completely removed the hindering tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction… leaving only the Tree of Life for us to eat from.
Remember, in Genesis 3, the guarding of the tree of life was ONLY TEMPORARY!
No more would mankind have to FEEL lost, alone, uncovered, and separated from God. No more would mankind have to hunger and thirst for righteousness or go through seasons of dryness or drought. No more would mankind be enslaved to an enemy that would strip him of his perception of who he has ALWAYS been. INSTEAD, Jesus stripped the enemy and made a public show of him having triumphed over him. And NO MORE would mankind not know the love and the intimacy of the ENCLOSURE of the ONENESS of themselves and Father, Son and Spirit in this beautiful journey of life called grace.
Because Jesus… the Blazing One, the Aleph Tav, Yahweh Elohim Himself, came to reveal our life and immortality IN Him because He IS the Tree of Life IN us.