First, let us take a look at what the Bible says about how God stopped His works and entered rest, which is depicted in Figure 1. Then we discuss why we say that Adam and Eve committed sin on the sixth day. We also see from verses that man has the image of God, but were contaminated by sin. Secondly, we share about the beginning of the salvation plan, its continuation, and its ending. God loves us. To fulfill His righteousness and save us, He decided to let Jesus become the Word become flesh, and offered Himself to give us a chance. At the end of the salvation plan described in the Book of Revelation, God finally enters His rest as depicted in Figure 2, where the salvation plan is logically represented by a circle. At last, we briefly describe part of the account of how the heavens and earth were created. We see the difference between plants and animals. Apparently, there were chickens before eggs according to the Bible. We also see the creation of man is rather different. There was the breath of life into his nostrils, and he became a living soul. Based upon that, everything should edify people, we discuss what consists of the breath of life. We at last mentioned briefly about the physical location of the garden of Eden.
1. How the Bible says about God rested in the seventh day?
In Genesis 2:1-3, it says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
So, God finished all His works and rested in the seventh day. But in John 5:17, it says, “But He (Jesus) answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” Apparently, God still works at that time and nowadays, so He has not already entered the seventh day and gets rested. We mentioned before that in the first six days, “There was evening and there was morning.” Therefore, one day really means that it is the same as the current one day we talk about. Therefore, if Adam and Eve didn’t commit sin, then God’s plan for God was to rest in the seventh day as represented by Figure 1, where each line segment represents one day and He rests at the seventh segment.
Figure 1: The plan for God to rest if Adam didn’t commit sin
Although the Bible doesn’t say clearly that Adam and Eve committed sin at the sixth days, we can see that from the way of Satan behaves. In Job 2:6-7, it says, “So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” As long as God allows it, Satan would do it immediately in order to cause maximum damage. If beneficial, this of course includes waiting for the right time. Apparently, there is no reason for Satan to wait in this case because they were just created and we see that the result is, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”(Genesis 3:6) Therefore, although the Bible doesn’t say clearly how long Adam and Eve stayed in the Garden of Eden, there is no reason to expect that Satan would wait. Therefore, we conclude that their committing sin occurred at the sixth day. The result is described at the end of chapter 3, where Adam and Eve were driven out from the Garden of Eden, and no longer had the fellowship with God. Of course, we also see from the first chapter of Job and here that what Satan can do never goes beyond God’s permission and is thus limited by it.
If Adam and Eve are assumed to have committed the sin on the sixth day, they had at least 235 years without calling upon the name of the Lord as seen by the following verses and 130+105=235. “When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. …Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh.”(Genesis 5:3-6) “To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the Lord.”(Genesis 4:26) Here, we can see that man has no longer the image of God since Seth is according to the image of Adam, who has the image of God which is contaminated by sin. In short, as long as a man is conformed to the image of Jesus, he can restore the image of God since such an image is free of sin and plus the additional choice of the fruit of the tree of life.
Here, we indeed have one question. Since God hasn’t entered the rest specified by the seventh day, that means the sixth day has not yet ended and we are still in the sixth day. What does it mean and how to express the situation by figure?
2. The beginning, the continuation, and the end of the salvation plan
In Exodus 34:6, “Then the Lord passed by in front of him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” Yes, God is compassionate and gracious. But He is also like what said in Psalms 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.” He loves us, to fulfill His righteousness, He used the way of prophecy to start the salvation plan as described in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you (serpent) and the woman (Eve), And between your seed and her seed (Jesus); He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Finally, Jesus the Word became the flesh by emptying “…Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”(Philippians 2:7-8) His whole life was obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as said in John 14:31, “…I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. …” He knew ahead that He would be nailed on the cross by “saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”(Luke 24:7) But in the Garden of Gethsemane, He still prayed by “saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.””(Luke 22:42) He is a complete man. In the aspect of human, it is not easy at all by praying so. Thus, as said in Luke 22:43, “Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.” “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”(Luke 22:44) But He wanted to give us a chance, because “…He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”(1 John 2:2) Therefore, it said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Actually, the concept of substitution started right in Genesis 3:21, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Some animals died for them to substitute them for their sin. The same concept is seen in the offering of Isaac by Abraham described in Genesis 22:13, “Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.” What the Bible tells us is consistent in this concept.
He finally stops all His works and enters His rest as described in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Therefore, the question regarding if we are still in the sixth day can be depicted in Figure 2, where the circle represents the salvation plan. If Adam and Eve at that time chose the fruit of the tree of life, God would stop all His works and enter the rest as shown in Figure 1. In this case, there is no circle in Figure 2. However, when they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the salvation plan started and we then have the circle. We don’t know how big the circle is since its size represents the time needed for the salvation plan, which is only known by God, who is omniscient.
Figure 2: The plan of the salvation demonstrated
3. Account of the heavens and the earth when they were created
This is clearly stated in Genesis 2:4-25. We now discuss only the beginning few verses, because Genesis 2:16-25 talks about the commands that God gave Adam and how Eve was made (H1129), which will be discussed next time.
In Genesis 2:4-6, it says, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.”
Apparently, plants and animals are different. When animals are mentioned, it is clearly said that they are created as stated in Genesis 1:21, “God created (H1254) the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; …” So, it is clear that chicken is first then egg second. In terms of plants, we have to use logic. Here, it is said, “no plant of the field had yet sprouted.” But in Genesis 1:11-12, it is said, “Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; …” Therefore, we can see that there were at that time already vegetations, just not sprouted yet. So, seeds second. In this issue, plants and animals are the same.
Then comes Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed (H3335) man of dust from the ground, and breathed (H5301) into his nostrils the breath (H5379) of life (H2416); and man (H120) became a living (H2416) being (soul, H5315).” Here, the word used is different from ‘created, H1254’, which creates something out of nothing. We also see that the creation of Adam is different from animals. There is the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living soul. The word ‘spirit, H7307’ is not used here, and we’ll know that man has spirit from other verses later. The words ‘the breath of life’ and not ‘spirit’ is used here. Because we talk about the living soul, it raises an argument. From Genesis 6:3, it says, “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”” Therefore, we know that our spirit is inside the breath of life from God. The question is then if soul is included there? Remember that it is said in Genesis 2:1, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.” If soul is not included in the breath, someone says that soul was created when spirit entered the dust (body). The Bible doesn’t say clearly which one is true. Just like what we discussed before, there is no reason to get into arguments, which cannot edify people. We want to be like what 1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “…Let all things be done for edification,” which is mentioned in many places.
Finally, in Genesis 2:8-15, the physical location of the garden of Eden is specified, “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. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”
Here, it has already the most detailed description about the physical location of the garden of Eden. If we looked at maps, we cannot find any location that fulfills the description completely. Someone says that the earth was changed because of the flood, which is definitely possible. Nowadays, the most consistent place is near rivers of Tigris and Euphrates. Even though someone could find its location, he cannot do anything about it since “…at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”(Genesis 3:24)
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)
(You can get all articles in “https://a-christian-voice.com/” under “On spiritual understanding about life.”)