God’s Glory, Holiness, and Righteousness in the Garden

New JerusalemThe garden of Eden and New Jerusalem correspond in many ways. This is the first of three posts looking at God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness in the garden, in Christ’s salvation, and in New Jerusalem.

In Genesis 2 man was pure but in Genesis 3 man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 3:24 tells us that God “drove the man out, and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.” The cherubim, the flame, and the sword signify God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness.

If we read Ezekiel 9 and 10 [v. 4, 18-19] and Hebrews 9, we will see that the cherubim are symbols of God’s glory. Ezekiel 9:3 reveals that glory of God was with the cherub, and Hebrews 9:5 even speaks of “the cherubim of glory,” because they were used by God to signify, express, and indicate His glory.

The flame means fire, and fire in typology signifies the holiness of God. God is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24; 9:3; Heb. 12:29). Anything common, unclean, or sinful is consumed by Him. This consuming fire signifies God’s holiness, and without holiness no man shall see Him (Heb. 12:14).

The sword signifies killing. In Genesis 3 the killing of the sword indicates God’s righteousness (cf. Lam. 3:42-43; Rom. 2:5)….Since sin was involved, there is, according to the righteous God, the need for killing. Hence, the sword for killing signifies the requirements of God’s righteousness.*

Adam and Eve sinned in partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus sin entered and “death through sin” (Romans 5:12). Therefore, God’s glory, holiness, and righteousness closed the way to the tree of life because sinful man was not allowed to contact God as the tree of life. Thank God that the redemption of Christ re-opened the way to the tree of life and keeps it open eternally in New Jerusalem.

* Excerpts from Witness Lee, Life-Study of Genesis, chapter 21, sections 6 to 8. This is published and © by Living Stream Ministry and available for online reading here.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.

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5 Comments

  1. God’s Glory, Holiness, and Righteousness in New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  2. Positional and Dispositional Aspects of Christian Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  3. God’s Glory in our Christian Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  4. God’s Holiness and Righteousness in our Christian Life | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  5. The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View

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