A Flaming Sword
We are told in GENESIS that after Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden, that GOD placed at the east a flaming sword, so as to keep the way of the tree of life. We must consider and ponder just why it was that HE used a sword? Why not a giant wall, or a deep mote, or some other impediment that prevented Adam from gaining entrance?
The sole purpose of a sword is to kill. It is to threaten the life of whoever comes within its reach. Was man then being told that the only way to return to the garden of life was through death? Is this what we are to find written between the lines? Was there then no other way back into the garden unless one died?
It is to be noted that death was first introduced then, on that day, for before Adam disobeyed and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, there was no record of death in Adam's world. But soon afterward it is stated that GOD made for Adam and Eve coats of skins, to clothe them (GENESIS 3:21). Obviously the skins had to come from something that had died, probably something that had been killed. It has been proposed by some and is not unreasonable to conclude that the slain animal was a substitution for Adam's own life as the result of his sin, for GOD had specifically told Adam that in the day that he ate from that forbidden fruit, that dying he would die. It therefore stands to reason then that something was going to die.
Then we are further told in the next chapter that Abel made an offering unto the LORD of one of the sheep of his flock, which he must also have had to kill (GENESIS 4:4), which it is further stated that the LORD accepted and approved of. So Adam's new world seems to be perforated and surrounded by death. Something they had never known or experienced was now evidently becoming prevalent and pervasive.
We must also consider what this first death must have meant to them. The life of at least a few of their fellow creatures was now snuffed out. What had been a lively and energetic lamb now lay there motionless and breathless. Just moments before what had been a warm and soft and perhaps playful creature was now cold and breathless and beginning to grow rigid and stiff. Soon it would begin to decay and the stench would become unbearable.
So no doubt they would naturally grow to conclude that just as their fellow creatures had lost their breath life, so too must they, someday. And they would not have to wait long to have their fears confirmed, for Cain then went and killed his own brother. And so now this death had spread even to Adam's own seed and was to pass upon all men.
- ROMANS 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The sentence of death had now been passed upon all of GOD's creation. No living soul was ever going to re-enter the garden of life. All were doomed to the same fate. All were heading towards the same final conclusion. As far as anyone then knew, death was the end of their existence and none would ever again enter into the garden of life.
As such, if one had died then he was not going to be able to return to the tree of life. But as the ages rolled on, talk of resurrection began to leak out. He must be first resurrected, and then he can re-enter the garden of life.
- 1 CORINTHIANS 15:21-23 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
So the only way for man to re-enter life is to first die and then be resurrected. Yeshua was the first to be resurrected, and then others followed Him past the flaming sword at His return. Then subsequently, men are resurrected in their own order, as Christ deems fit.
And this is what we should consider the meaning of the sword was. We are even told this in the closing Book of the Bible.
- REVELATION 20.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
- REVELATION 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
- PSALM 99:1 The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: He sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
REVELATION 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
REVELATION 22.2, 14 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life . . . . Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
There is nothing in this record which speaks of the fall of man. In fact, I cannot find anywhere in scripture which speaks of the fall of man relating to Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden tree. Rather, it was their death, not their fall, which was warned of and pronounced. When we leave the language of scripture we cannot help but become confused and bewildered and led astray.
ROMANS 4.17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
MATTHEW 10:34-39 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
We must note that there is nothing in scripture that speaks of man's fall. Church doctrine and tradition claims and promotes the idea that when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit that that act resulted in man's fall. But there is nowhere in scripture which speaks of this fall.
GOD had first warned Adam that in the day that he disobeyed, that "dying he would die". But nothing is said of any kind of a fall. Even in ROMANS where Paul writes frequently of this occurrence is there no talk of a fall. He always speaks of Adams death, not of any kind of a fall.
GENESIS 3:22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Man had not become like GOD. It's not "one of us" but "of himself", meaning, by his choice pf evil, he became as one who has only one way before him. Man is the only animal that can choose to do good or evil.
When reading of life in the scripts we must think about surviving the death of the sword so as to gain access into the kingdom of GOD. HE dwells between the cherubims.
MATTHEW 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
MATTHEW 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
MATTHEW 16:26 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.