“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.”
The last part of this statement is expressed as a figure of speech. The Hebrew expression shows a sudden silence. It expresses the grieve of Yahweh towards the Fall of Man and yet a great promise underscores His words. His action in driving Adam eastward sheds light on His words – “and now, lest he…”.
“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” - Gen.3:23-24
God drove Adam out of the garden of Eden. But how far away did God have to drive Adam out before Adam was out of the garden? This passage of Scripture is both literal and figurative. Though the garden of Eden was a literal place, it had no fence around it and no entrance or exit for it. We know that the tree of life was not a literal tree but the law of life in God’s Word and therefore the last verse could not refer to literal cherubim and a literal flaming sword guarding the way into It on the eastside of the literal garden. If the cherubim and the flaming sword were literal then they should still be there guarding the eastern side of the garden of Eden (which is the land of Israel), even to this day. And so would both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, if they were literally natural trees.
“So he drove out the man;…” God divorced or detached the man from the place He had put him. God did not have to drive Adam out very far before Adam was separated from the place where God had put him. Adam had broken the law and judgment had to be passed. God had to affect a divorce between light and darkness, truth and error, life and death. Adam was not only separated from the natural garden where he dwelled but also from that spiritual Garden of God where God’s Presence truly dwelled.
Remember that the events of the Creation and the Fall were penned down (in the Book of Genesis) some 2500 years later by Moses during Israel’s wandering in the wilderness after they came out of Egypt. The Spirit of God used various particular expressions to convey Truths whilst simultaneously hiding them. In relating the events, oral expressions and imageries of that era and place that the Hebrew people were familiar with were used. The Seraphim and Cherubim are such imageries with hidden mysteries. They are two heavenly beings with wings who are often associated with the Presence of God especially around His Throne (cf. Isa.6:2-6; Exo.25:20-22; Eze.1:4-28; 10:1-22; Rev.4:5-9). Both are fiery burning spirits (Heb: saraph). Cherubim are also guarding angels of Light. In chapter 28 of his book, the Prophet Ezekiel was speaking of Satan as he directed his words at the prince of Tyrus. Satan was that anointed guarding cherub named Lucifer who had once possessed great authority and moved among all the other angelic principalities and powers (fiery stones) of God (vv.14). Remember that he had the ability to transform himself into an angel of light (cf. 2 Cor.11:14). After his rebellion, in which he sought to be seated in the position as Yahweh (cf.Isa.14:12-15), Satan was cast down and he became an adversary of God.
No sooner and right after the re-creation of the Heaven and Earth, Satan went straight into the garden of Eden where Adam and Eve dwelled. He came through the enchanting serpent (Heb: nachash) like a “saraph” and tempted Eve. Yes, he was a fiery serpent (Heb: saraph nachash, cf.Num.21:6-9).
Today, cherubim have different imageries such as a chubby winged baby with a bow and an arrow. Religious approaches to the mysterious cherubim have conjured up different imageries of various angelic beings and their roles, but more so to the cherubim and the seraphim.
The Flaming Sword
Now, the Flaming Sword is a power that separates and destroys. It speaks of a hidden mystery. This mystery is later portrayed on the mercy lid (seat) of the Ark of the Covenant found in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of Moses (cf.Exo.25) where only the High Priest could enter in but once a year in Yahweh’s Presence with the blood of a sin-offering.
Both the Cherubim and the Flaming Sword are (in Gen.3:24) expressed here as guarding the way to True Life. Such expression creates a sense of awe (in the mind of man), giving rise to an imagery of an unapproachable Light. Man is a fallen creature and therefore he can no longer return to God’s Paradise. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). “For the wages of sin is death;…” (Rom.6:23). But man’s fascination with the Flaming Sword till this day has never ceased. He had been, and still is, thinking of ways to get pass that sword and into God’s Paradise. No matter what a man does to try and find his way into God’s Paradise, he will surely come face to face with death. He can imagine, philosophize and devise ways to get into God’s spiritual Garden of Eden but he will never get pass the Flaming Sword that turns everyway. It’s the fiery law of death. No matter how venerated a man’s life may be and how devout and holy his approach, death will still stand before him and is ever ready to destroy him. God is as much a consuming fire as He is a holy God. Until a way is provided, man’s vain imaginations and religious approaches to get into the spiritual Garden of God remain futile.
O glorious mystery! God guarded the Tree of Life and kept It in Himself until He sent It forth in the form of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Yet Christ has the burning sword in His hand -- "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John.14:6). Jesus Christ is God’s Tree of Life manifested. Yahweh, Who is TRUE LIFE, the Word of LIFE, came to dwell in the flesh of His Own Son, Yahshua. It was this Light that came into the world and lit up a pathway for man to find his way into the Garden of God. Man could now taste and eat of the Tree of Life (Word of Life) in order to have the true and eternal fruitful life that was ordained of God. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom.10:4). He is the consuming fire of God. He must purge sin before anyone is to eat of the Word of LIFE and enter into the spiritual Garden of God.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” - Heb.9:14
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:” - Heb.1:3
Yes, unless God reveals His Truth to you, you will not see it. You may claim to have a revelation but if the Truth is not there, then you are deceiving yourself.
Strangely, why were the Cherubim and the Flaming Sword placed only on the eastern side of the garden? What reason was there for such a position?
A mystery lies here and unless one first sees the truth that the garden of Eden was Israel (and not Turkey or Armenia or a certain area in the Mesopotamian Basin) one will not be able to see the revelation of it. [For more proof that the Land of Canaan is the locale of the garden of Eden, read my message: “The Holy City, New Jerusalem”.]
The driving out of the man and the placing of the cherubim and the flaming sword are the schema of God that speak prophetically of a great mystery. As the First Man, the First Adam, was cast out eastward in death, a Second Man, the Last Adam, will surely come and bring Life back from the direction that Death went out. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1Cor.15:45). “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1Tim.3:16). Hence, True Life remained hidden as a mystery of God until He revealed It in His Son, Jesus Christ, Who was sent as the Messiah to the children of Israel according to the promise given to them.
It was Yahweh’s modus operandi to cast such imagery even with that of the rising of the sun (cf. Mal.4:2). The simple structure of the Tabernacle of Moses (later replaced in Jerusalem by the temple of Solomon, and of Herod) was constructed with its entrance facing the east (cf.Num.3:38). Also, in his vision of the future (millennial) temple, Ezekiel witnessed “the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east” (Ezek.43:4).
Yes, Life did return to the garden of Eden (which is the land of Israel) when the Christ of Yahweh was born and died for a propitiation for sin, a reconciliation for iniquity. Having ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives, He will return once more to the same. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet,…” (Acts 1:10-12a). This return will be in the great Day of the Lord when Jesus Christ will come to fight in the Battle of Armageddon. In great glory He will descend on to Mt. Olivet and enter into the City of Jerusalem and the temple via the eastern gate (which is presently shut and sealed up). “Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same” (Ezek.44:1-3). “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zech.14:4). Christ will then sit upon the Throne of David (cf. Isa.9:6-7; Luk.1:31-33) and in His glory He will judge all nations that are gathered before Him (Matt.19:28; 25:31-46) prior to His Reign over the earth for a thousand years.
Revelation and Truth
All religions today that look to a Creator are, directly or indirectly, one way or another, traced to the worships performed by the two seeds born outside of the garden of Eden. Abel, the seed of Adam, had the whole truth and the complete revelation of the way of approach to his Creator. Cain, the seed of the Serpent, did not. He took half of the truth that he had learned from his stepfather, Adam, and approached his Creator with a carnal revelation. In seeking to destroy the True Worship of God, Satan had the two people marrying one another. After the Flood, the two seedlines of Cain and Seth (who replaced Abel whom Cain murdered) were thoroughly mixed into the three sons of Noah – Japheth, Ham and Shem. As the descendants of the three sons multiplied and spread all over the earth, they drifted further and further away from the Truth and more and more religions were created as core family groups broke up into sub-groups. Today’s false religions may embrace some spark of truth as they can all be traced back to the two seeds. But false religions have no connection whatsoever with the worship of the true God, Yahweh, because they lack the whole truth – truth that is true and real. They are but philosophies and the vain imaginations devised by carnal men trying to get past the Flaming Sword of death and into life.
Religious people of all the different false religions may claim they have the truth and answer to life after death. Of course, religious philosophers have no God in their religions; they only embrace the philosophies of venerated men whom they believe will lead them into eternal bliss. But for those religions that are concerned with “gods”, “goddesses”, “idols” and whatever the icons of worship, many of their worshippers are deep set in their belief that they do possess the real and true religious faith. However what is FAITH really based on? Man or God? The retort will almost always be that it is not based on man but on God. Well, it is truly on God, but what on? Many simply would just proclaim that they “have faith in God.” May I ask, “In which God; in what God?”
Faith is not based in a God, true or false as He may be. Faith is based on the WORD of God, the Creator, whom a true worshipper must relate to. For sure, true faith is not based on the words of mortal beings.
God is. If He speaks not, then we know Him not. As He speaks, He reveals Himself and we know Him. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Without the Word we will never know the Creator and Eternal Life. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa.119:105). “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1Joh.5:20).
Souls in Conflict
Many Bible believers in this end time have no understanding of the Truth that the Lord God Almighty has been revealing to His people since the beginning of the 20th Century. For the past 100 years, as the spiritual gifts of God were poured out and certain men were ordained to take a “Gospel Revival” to the world, God brought about a restoration of the Church to His Word. Instead of understanding the work of God in the different God-ordained ministries, followers of certain ministers congregated around their favourite preachers and formed personality cults and isms out of them. This is especially true with many of the followers of William Marrion Branham, the messenger of God to this Laodicean age. Till today (40 years after his death) many are still looking upon him as a man whose spoken words were literally that of God and equal with, or even above, the Sacred Scriptures. Many have misused and misquoted certain Scriptures to force-fit their revelation of the man and his words. They have formed an ism known among Christendom as Branhamism.
I feel sorry for the religious Christians. Oft times their souls are in conflict with the Truth they hear. Because they are so religious it is hard for them to fully comprehend the Truth of God. Hence, they have the tendency to hide behind some religious words of men, be they God’s servants or otherwise. Such are the many extreme believers of William Branham known as Branhamites. These Branhamites are not wise. They cannot be like the Bereans whom Paul commended for their nobility in that they were ever ready to receive the Word and to search out the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true. For a believer to search out the Scripture to see if what Branham said was true, the Branhamites would call him an unbeliever.
Several Branhamite preachers have sarcastically called me “intellectual” in their disagreement with my doctrines. They thought that they had me cornered because Bro. Branham spoke against “intellectual knowledge, intellectual reasoning”. The truth is they have misunderstood Bro. Branham’s usage of the words. There is intellectual knowledge and there is intellectual knowledge. One is carnal postulation based on mere words, the mental perception of things based on the natural human senses. The other is spiritual revelation, spiritual understanding of truth given by the Holy Spirit in accordance to His Own Word. This is what Paul said:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1Cor.2:12-15). “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” - Col.1:9-10
Another reason for such name calling is to scare the believers away from knowing the Truth of God. I have been called a devil, a false preacher, an unbeliever of the message of Bro. Branham, a blasphemer, a man without love, etc. If these preachers have the Truth of Christ, why are they not at peace with themselves? Why do they not just preach the Truth they claim they have instead of preaching and running down other preachers with their lies? When I try to answer and clear up their charges and false accusations, they are only more infuriated. I know this because I have been a victim of their name calling and in defending the truth, the table was turned against me, and they call me a “mean person” or a “bad guy” and make me the accuser instead.
Are God’s people intellectually stupid? Or are they to act intellectually stupid so as to be true believers in the eyes of God (and perhaps in the eyes of their own kind) seeing that they have to believe every word uttered by Bro. Branham? Some Branhamites would think to justify their stand that they have to believe every word of the prophet, even if it’s contrary to the Truth, by this cursory quote of the Scripture: “believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (2Chr.20:20). Shame, O shame! Such carnal intellectual reasoning and knowledge is exactly what Bro. Branham was referring to in some of his sermons.
God is intellectual. No one can deny it. The intellect of God lies within His Spirit. If a man is born again of His Spirit and His Word, then the man has the ability to learn of God with that same Spirit that dwells within him. God is his Father and he is His child. Therefore, as a child, a believer does possess spiritual intellect. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:…” (Isa.1:18a). But many just do not use it. Maybe they were afraid to use it, or perhaps, they do not know they have it. Anyhow, Paul told the Roman believers to use it. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (that is, your intellect), that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom.12:2). “For who hath known the mind (that is, the intellect) of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind (that is, the intellect) of Christ” (1Cor.2:16).
“It’s a revelation!”
When a Branhamite preacher propagates a peculiar teaching, with only a cursory reference or remark from the Scripture but many statements from the sermon books and tapes of Bro. Branham, the preacher will try to enforce his teaching as truth by uttering a statement so commonly made and heard among the Message believers – “It’s a revelation!” This declaration has often been used to warrant that the teaching is true and unless one has a “revelation” from God about it, one will not have the “true” understanding of that particular doctrine as the preacher who propagates it has. The assertion of such a claim is a mockery when spoken among non-message believing Christians. One such peculiar carnal teaching is that William Branham, who died in 1965, is one day going to rise up from his grave to travel around the world preaching the Gospel once more before Christ comes to translate the saints. But where are the facts of Scriptures for it? There isn’t one. Then what is it based upon? It is based on the carnal mind’s eye. It is based upon the opinion of some smart-alecky, intellectual preachers who carnally read into the statements of Branham. There is one such preacher who has even offered US$10,000 to anyone who could prove that the teaching is false. (No matter what, the man will surely twist Scriptures and statements of Branham to prove his revelation right, and he will keep his US$10,000.)
“Revelation” means “taking off the cover” of the something hidden. When a mystery of God’s Word (Fact) is uncovered by the Spirit of the Lord to us, we are then given a revelation of it. Therefore, that “it’s a revelation!” is true only when the facts are there in the Scriptures and that the Truth is consistent with other doctrines.
Take heed to these words: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov.30:5-6).
Beloved, Christ is the doctrine of the Scripture of God (cf. John 7:16; 5:39; Acts 13:12; 1Tim.6:1). He is our FAITH – based on the Written Word of God. It is based on God’s PROMISED WORD, on what God had spoken (of which were later written and handed down to us in the form of Inspired Sacred Scriptures). FAITH is a REVELATION and FAITH is a FACT. It is by the revelation of the Spirit that we grow in the knowledge of our Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Eph.1:17; 2Pet.3:18). It is what the Bible is all about. There is no revelation of Truth outside of God’s Word.
Some who do not know that faith is a fact may quote this verse of Scripture: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb.11:1). This verse does not speak of a blind faith as if one is groping about for a particular thing in the dark. It speaks of trusting in God with the assurance of the things we hope for, and being certain, convinced, of the things we cannot see. This faith is not blind. It is based on the Promised Word of God. Because we have faith in God’s Word, we understand the things we cannot see.
Our daily life is full of natural faith being manifest. In eating, we do not fear as to what would happen to the food as we swallow. We have the revelation, the understanding, and the knowledge, that they would be digested and assimilated into the body by certain natural processes. What we cannot see is manifested later in the growth of our body. How about the switching on of an electrical lamp? We do not fear that the light might not come on simply because of the fact that we know the lamp has been properly wired up and connected to a flow of electricity. We are convinced of those facts and therefore we will see the light.
Similarly, here are two simple straightforward Biblical examples:
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” - Heb.11:7
Noah had not seen of what was to come upon the earth but God had warned him about it and told him also to build an ark. If God had not warned Noah about the coming deluge, would Noah be smart enough to know what was going to happen? Would he know to build an ark? Obviously the answer is “no”. But God gave him a revelation of what was to come. God had warned him. When God said it, He meant it. Noah believed it and he acted upon it. And later, Noah saw it. That’s just about what Abraham did, too.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Acting on God’s Promise to him, Abraham obeyed and went out of his homeland under God’s leading to a place that he had no idea whereof but where an inheritance awaited him. Later, as he lived in a strange land, the land of promise given him, he was like a foreigner, living in tents with his son and grandson, heirs to the same promise of God. But Abraham’s action got him a reward. God uncovered a mystery for him. It’s a revelation of a well founded spiritual city being built by God Himself, and Abraham looked forward to be a part of that Holy City.
Blind faith certainly could not have convinced Noah and Abraham to see the reality of a blessing that awaited them. If a man says he could see without the Inspired Word, he’s already blind. He has deceived himself. Such is the blind who leads the blind.
With the Spoken Word handed down to us in a volume of sacred books, God maintains the same Revelation of Himself. He cannot stray one iota from His Word. He has to fulfill them all. Therefore He has to speak according to those same Word recorded by holy men under the inspiration of His Spirit. That is His Absolute to us.
So, we understand that it is God Himself Who uncovers His Truths to His Own elect. What we see then is a revelation that is based on God’s Mysterious Word. To a true believer of God, revelation is not someone’s intellectual extra-Biblical reasoning nor is it guess-ology. Revelation of Truth cannot, nor does it, come to the religiously intellectual who seek for it by signs and wonders only, the things they could see with their eyes (cf. Joh.4:48; 6:30). Such were those who came out of Egypt by the power of God under Moses. Though they saw all the signs and wonders of God, they could not enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief. They could not believe the promise of God (cf. Heb.3:16-19; 4:2). They could not see the revelation of it. True believers walk by faith, by revelation, not by sight (cf.2Cor.5:7; 1Cor.14:6; Rev.1:1). Revelation is God unfolding His mysteries to us as He calls us back to His Word and we obey as He speaks what has already been written. That’s the assurance that John the Baptist received when he was in doubt after he was cast into prison (cf.Matt.11:4-6). Unlike John the Baptist, many today refuse to believe and to see because they have hardened their own hearts to the Word. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb.4:7b).
There are those who have misplaced words saying, “My faith has set me free.” An example are those Trinitarians who are dead set on their belief that if one does not have a faith in “the Trinity of God” one does not have the salvation of God. Such errant teaching surely does not come from the Spirit and the Word of God. It could have only come from hell and these men are accursed for denying that it is the simple Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that provides salvation. Even for one to claim a revelation of One God does not warrant one salvation.
Salvation is based on one’s act in accordance to Acts 2:38 after one is given the revelation of the Gospel of Christ. Truly, a revelation of TRUTH does set free a believer from a life of bondage in sin, fear and false doctrines. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). However, it is the TRUTH itself, and not a person’s revelation, that sets free the person. Truth is Truth. It does not change one bit by anyone’s opinion or revelation of it. However a false revelation of a Truth does not only bring forth a false doctrine but it will also further put a person deeper into spiritual error and bondage of iniquity. Such are those in the organized traditional religious system, and those in the cultic movements. Many of them who are caught deep into false revelation are so seduced by demons that they would condone iniquities and fight those God-fearing believers who expose errors, lies and sin.
Indeed the TRUTH shall set us free – truth that is given to us by a revelation of the Spirit of God upon His Own Written Word. That mysterious Flaming Sword still turns every way to face those who dare to misappropriate the Tree of Life. The two saraph cherubim watch over and shield the Shekinah and only Yahweh Himself will reveal to whom He so chooses (cf.Matt.11:29). “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1Pet.2:1-3 NKJV).
“If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious”, then “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim.2:15 NKJV). And the Word of Truth is the Sacred Scripture, the Holy Bible – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God [that is, God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2Tim.3:16-17).
You cannot add to or subtract from the God-breathed Word. This is plain and simple, a Thus saith the Lord.