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Return to Eden

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2020 12:00 pm

Return to Eden

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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Your bowels with you turn with me if you would Revelation 22 we look at verses 135 this morning. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, brightest crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city.

Also, on either side of the river. The tree of life with its 12 kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations no longer will there be anything accursed with the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it. And this service will worship him they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads and night will be no more. They will need no light lamps or son the Lord God will be there light and they will reign forever and ever. Spray heavenly father we counted such a privilege to be here this morning. We thank you for the book of Revelation is spoken powerfully here people for 2000 years.

It was written to help us understand that this world is not our home. It was written to make us homesick for heaven and put a desire in our heart to make all the time that we have on earth, the time the counts for Christ sake, Lord, may we learn to be better servants of Christ, may we hunger after your word and maybe will lose our love and attraction to this world by the sum of the types and symbols in the book of Revelation been difficult. Give us wisdom to understand. Help us to use Scripture to interpret Scripture will finish up our study on Revelation next week. God willing, may we refuse to set it aside as we finished with it.

Lead us to run back to it often to give us hope and courage. Lord help me to articulate your truth in such a way today that Christ would be exalted. This congregation would be edified. We love you Jesus, thank you for loving us and is in your holy and precious thing that we pray. Amen. You may be seated.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness. The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit of the joints of America and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, not worried about he had in my heart that I might not sin against the these verses drive me to get serious about my study of Scripture. They drive me to be more faithful to be more systematic and to study the Scriptures daily. Now when I am studying the Scriptures. I usually like to just go through a book in the Bible and just go chapter by chapter word by word.

Sometimes I like to coordinate. I like to take up a passage like Isaiah 53 in Psalm 22 and the passion narratives in the in the Gospels and read them in one sitting. That's an amazing thing to do also like to take the book of Genesis and and read it right along with the book of Revelation and when you do. There are some phenomenal parallels. That's what I want to do today I want us to focus on one particular parallel. The parallel between the garden of Eden and heaven in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis, we saw the creation of the earth. The creation of humankind.

We saw that the environment in which God placed Adam and Eve. It was in the garden of Eden.

It was a of an environment was that was absolutely beautiful and and just glorious. It was a place where there were beautiful flowers and plants and and and animals and it was an environment that just shook them to their very souls. He also had an atmosphere in the garden of Eden that was somewhat different than we have today before the flood that there was almost greenhouse effect in only earth and there was a water vapor that covered the entire earth, so the temperature was usually a just about the same and the oxygen level was much much higher of the earth at that point in time. What was much like a hyperbaric chamber and that's a chamber where there's a whole lot of oxygen flowing football players and get injured will sit in a hyperbaric chamber and and because that oxygen level being so high they will heal very more much more quickly and they taken tomato plants and put them in hyperbaric chambers and and they grow four times faster and three times at larger than normal.

That's were Adam and Eve were in the place of beauty, a place of great health great health. When Adam and Eve sin.

They were driven out of the garden. This is not only been a place of health in a place of great beauty, but it was also the place where God Almighty community and fellowship with Adam and Eve and he would come on a daily basis in the cool of the evening and and come and minister to them and fellowship with them. But then there was the fall disobedience of Adam and Eve the sin of Adam and Eve and because of that God drove them out of the out of the garden and he placed cherubim. They are huge Angels angelic beings that were there with flaming swords that kept them from entering back into the garden of Eden, and it kept them from partaking of the tree of life. The human race has been homesick ever since we were kicked out of Eden ever since then we've been homesick much of the world's great literature today has to do that very that very theme.

A book like the Odyssey by Homer a books like the trailer, the, the Lord of the rings trilogy by Tolkien books like you can't go home again about Thomas Wolf. All of those writings speak very strongly to the desire of the human heart just to go back home and that Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11. The Scripture says this God has set eternity in the heart. It's almost like God took a spiritual magnet and puts down inside of us. So what we we droned back to eternity so that we will hunger for Eden so we get is the last chapter in the Bible and what John sees it. In this vision is this what we lost in Eden. We are going to regain in heaven and it's going to be multiplied exponentially.

Therefore, things I want to share with you from this passage is morning number one. The river look at verse one with me again. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb.

Genesis chapter 2 verses 10 through 14 we read about a river in Eden that came into the garden and split off into four different rivers.

Now let me read you that passage, Genesis 2, verses 10 through 14 river flowed out of Eden to water the garden and there it divided became four rivers. The name of the first is the pie.

Sean, it is one that flowed around the whole land of Havelock where there is gold in the gold of that land is good, but bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Guyon is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush in the name of the third river is the Tigris which flows east of Assyria and the fourth river is the Euphrates and Tigris and Euphrates rivers still flowing today in the area that we call a rock but ended that the garden of Eden there were four rivers in the life flowing water came from. From these rivers flow through it for for what purpose, in order that they might provide moisture in order that they might provide nutrients for the plants for the animals and for the human life and it's interesting that God uses water and other places in Scripture is a picture of the Holy Spirit of God, which bring spiritual life to God's people only give you a few examples of the woman at the whale John chapter 4 says this one from Samaria came to draw water.

Jesus said to her, give me a drink for his disciples, he gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, how is it that you, a Jew asked for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, if you knew the gift of God and who it is that you say and do you give me a drink, you would've asked him and he would have given you living water.

The woman said to him, sir.

You have nothing to draw water with in the whale's deep where do you get that living water. Are you greater than our father Jacob gave us the whale and drank from it himself, as did the signs in his livestock.

Jesus said to her, everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but everyone who drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life.

In John seven, Jesus is teaching the disciples about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and he says this on the last day of the feast.

A great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, if anyone thirst letting come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water at this he said about the spirit whom those who believed in him were to receive for as yet the spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. So what is the water representative pictures.

The life-giving ministry of the Holy Spirit of God. Oftentimes I'll get into arguments with unbelievers about what I believe about the Bible I believe that the Bible is the word of God. I do not believe that it contains the word of God. I believe it is the word of God.

I believe that the Bible is inerrant, it's infallible and it's perfectly inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts in which it was written. That's what I believe and I believe it's important, but they will almost laugh at this and say how could that be. How could that be that fallible me in a reputed 1500 years could could write a book where there would be no contradictions and no errors whatsoever.

And you know it was Jesus himself who told us about the word of God is and how inerrant it was.

Not only of the statements inerrant, not only of the words in it are inerrant and he said that even the jot in the tittle. What is a jot in a tittle or job is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet is the. The letter you wrote it looks like a little' in the tittle is a little mark on on some of the Hebrew letters just a tiny little mark Jesus and even those were came perfectly off the pen of those who wrote Scripture under the inspiration of God and so we say how in the world can fallible man that is sinful right, infallible, sinless Scripture second Peter chapter 1 verse 21 tells us for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

That means they were so anointed by the Holy Spirit Holy Spirit of God that when they wrote they wrote it down exactly as God would have it, this was not a dictation God.

This is called a dynamic inspiration God inspired them so much that they use their own personalities and their own faults and yet God perfectly kept them in era and it came out exactly as he would have it, so the spirit flows from the temple. That's God's presence into the lives of the people of God and what is it bring us, it brings us life it brings us guidance and direction and instruction. So we get to the last chapter of Revelation and what we see the river of God flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb that denotes our light source.

What is our light source are like source here spiritually is the Holy Spirit physically are like source is our blood, but the spirit in heaven will be our total life source and it will do what it will give a sustaining perpetual, eternal sin, rejecting life.

I believe that our new glorified bodies that we will have in heaven will be bloodless, bloodless, we will have blood in heaven. I don't think so. I would do I get that will go back to two Leviticus for just a minute. Leviticus 1711 says for the life of the flesh is in the blood. And that's true if you were to lose a certain amount of blood you could not live our blood does what it circulates through the body and it brings oxygen to the organs of the body. So the organs can operate and if there's not enough blood.

If you lose enough blood, you will physically die then Philippians 321.

The Scripture says that that are new glorified bodies that we will have in heaven. Our new resurrected bodies will be fashioned after the glorified body of Jesus. What was the glorified body of Jesus like what when Jesus walked out of the tomb, he when he was resurrected from the dead. He had a new body, and I believe that that body was sinless hit.the spirit was life in the new body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now in Luke chapter 24 verse 37 through 40. The Scripture says this but they were startled and frightened, and they thought they saw spirit and he said to them, are you troubled, and while he doubts arise in your heart see my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see for spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have and when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Most the time when we speak of the body week with refer to it as flesh and blood.

Jesus referred to his glorified body as flesh and blown.

Where was the blood.

The blood had been shed at Calvary's cross. But I believe that our glorified body will not have blood but will be just like the glorified body that Jesus had and it will be a body where where our life is the spirit of God point to the forest, look at adverse to the middle of the street of the city. Also, on either side of the river. The trees of life with its 12 kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations in the Garden of Eden.

There was only one tree of life, and that that tree was guarded by charitable and it was it was, not allowed to be partaken of ever favoring again in heaven. There is not one tree of life which is tree of life here that should be written as a plural could be written as trees or could be written as forest and they will predict that they will provide life in the Scripture says that we can freely partake of these in heaven and Scripture also says here that the leaves are for the healing of the nations.

Let me ask a question is why would they need to to be far healing if in our glorified bodies.

We have bodies that can never sin that can never suffer. That can ever get sick, they can never sorrow that can never die. And why would we need healing. I think this is a way of saying that everyone in heaven will always enjoy the fullness of eternal life. There will be perpetual health that will never end. One of the old church fathers. Irenaeus said something about this verse to the think probably needs to be remembered by us. Irenaeus said that the tree of life in the garden points us to the tree of death for Jesus at Calvary. The cross of death outside the old city of Jerusalem gives us full access to the tree of life in heaven. What is this book.

This is the great exchange.

What kind of exchange his life for my death. Here's the righteousness for my sin is heaven for my hail and his joy for my misery.

Man, how glorious that he is, that's what we have right in front of us. That's what every true believer longs for. That's what we we enjoy when we come to know Christ. That's the gospel and yet what do people do with that gospel message. They rejected and they market any of us be saved amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Joe Vicki said this you believe that you're better off now under the gospel that our father Adam was are you rejoicing in that today you should be. Adam was innocent. You say you have something better than that you have the righteousness of Christ which is much more than innocence by God's regenerating work in your heart you been made a partaker of the divine nature in the sense that Adam was not. Adam with an earthly paradise. He was Lord of Eden.

However, we are joint heirs with Christ, we sit in heavenly places in him.

Adam was on probation. He was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that tree is not mentioned in Revelation 22 for you and I are eternally secure in our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no probation in glory, we can say with Paul. Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. This is an advance on the garden of Eden versus make a commitment today that we never think of the tree of life without first giving thanks for the tree of death which was across verse three no longer will there be anything accursed with the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. No longer will there be anything accursed but every unbeliever at this point in time will be in their final state of judgment. They will be in the burning like a fire. We will never ever see them again in heaven we will never experienced anything ever again that is tainted with sin. We will never be reminded of sin again and have glorious and wonderful that will be. I have a Kindle has ESV Bible on it and I used to use it on or in our Bible studies that we have on Wednesday not.

I have not used. I don't use it anymore. I now use my leather paper nonelectric Bible you say why why did you do that well. There was a reason for that.

I would when Scott Starcher was teaching the book of Proverbs back about five years ago I was sitting at our table and I brought out my little clips in orange Kindle to show everybody that I'm a techie to and I brought it out and in and had it.

It you you turn the pages by just hit note hit in the pager touching it and if you don't do that quickly enough the Kindle will go off to help save the battery so I will sit there at the table.

My wife Cindy on one side, my friend Kim Beauchamp on the other side and my Kindle goes off and and when the Kindle goes off when it comes back on. They do an advertisement and it is an advertisement for the. The New York Times bestseller books and so my Kindle went off and I hit the button and soon as I did on this big advertisement pops up an advertisement for a new book that's just come out on the New York Times bestseller list 50 shades of gray.

All great here I am sitting beside my wife and in my my friend Kim Beauchamp right in the middle of Scott study and here's this big advertisement that that pops up for 50 shades of gray.

Some raunchy book. Thank you. A lot. Amazon I deeply appreciate that both limitations something that that kind of junk is never going to stop here on earth where you have to put up with that kind of stuff. And until we die. But in heaven it will never happen, it will never happen will be free to worship the Lord free to worship the Lord is no evil thoughts with no tempting pictures with no fleshly books or magazines or stories staring us in the face but the throne of God and the Lamb will be there and worship will be our priority on me ask you something.

How important is worship to you. I think with a lot of people. The worship all that really matters is the reading of the word. Maybe the preaching of the word. What about what else we do here in worship. The scene of some of Psalms him since and spiritual songs. The reading of the reciting of the confessions the confession of sin, the music that just lifts up and exalts the Lord all brothers and sisters how important is that worship Mo friend Jack Hudson used to say worship is that when your soul in humble reverence and unhindered adoration to God is unadulterated praise and yes it is, in his book heaven on earth.

Thomas said the following. I thought this was good.

He said, is it not likely that God intends for us to discover and grow in our human advancement in the world to come, rather than to be given masses of information all at once in the mirror, Randy Alcorn of the most important thing he said to me in his book on heaven was the us that in heaven we will never quit learning man that excites my soul every day in heaven will be learning something else to be showing something more of his wisdom and his glory to us and Thomas is what for example, will the possibilities be for travel and exploration in the new heaven and the new earth to imagine that no such exploration will be possible or desirable is to stifle imagination and deny what it what is after all a God-given mandate to humanity and Eden were made to ask questions and discover answers. We were created to admire the beauty and art, music, literature and architecture. Wherever beauty can be found. Moreover, we were made to create beauty, not just admire it as early records of human beings demonstrate in the line of Jew ball musicians Tubalcain metallurgy a holy ab embroidery and bezel ale carpentry and if that was God's original purpose.

Why would he not continue to be his purpose in heaven, music, art, architecture, design literature, all of it and more songs to compose books to write buildings to construct skills to develop when the disciples asked an embarrassing question about greatness in the kingdom of God. Jesus responded, you are those who have stayed with me in my trials and I assigned to you as my father assigned to me a kingdom that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel eating ruling assessing all this suggest we are to expect an extraordinary future. We are, of course, only scratching the surface, for as Paul said, I've not seen, nor ear heard was entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him. What you think Adam and Eve did when they saw the presence of God walking in into the garden in the cool of the evening, I got a feeling they ran towing. I got a feeling they just ran towing. They probably fell at his feet as all Lord will listen to what we saw the day.

But what will we list look at the discoveries that we made of what you did and they begin just pointing out the the things the plants and animals that the the just the beautiful things in heaven that they couldn't even even grasp how great it was. I can imagine pointed out to took to the Lord God the little silverfish that were swimming in the at the edge of the river, or maybe a lion that was standing just posed up on up on a rock with the wind blowing through his main looking of the flowers said, Lord, look at look at this. The beauty of the tulip and in the colors of the orchid in the and in the sunflowers. All they were just absolutely blown just blown away by the by the artistic and creative power of this great God reading Psalm 65, not long ago Psalm 65 is is a Psalm that just all it does is just give praise to God for who he is.

The wonderful things that he's done and I have a feeling that when Adam and Eve were in the garden. They were just communing with God that they were doing the same thing. Just been in their whole time just praising him when he read some of those verses.

And picture Adam and Eve just down on their face before God saying these things, but also, did you answer us with righteousness of God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the father sees the one who buys strength, establish the mountains being girded with might who steals the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their ways and tumult of their peoples so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth or in all your signs.

You make the going out of the morning the evening to shout for joy you visit the earth and water it you greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water. You provide their grain for so you prepared it, you water its furloughs abundantly setting is ridges soften. It was showers blessing, its growth you crowned the year with your bounty, your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. The pastures of the wilderness overflowed the hills girded themselves with joy. The meadows clothe themselves with flocks. The valleys deck themselves with grain. They shout and sing together for joy. My .3 is ownership. Look at verse three and four. No longer will there be anything accursed with the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him they will see his face in his name will be on their foreheads. The translators of the English Bible were perfectly honest and true and what they would write down. I don't think they would use the word servants. I think they would use the word slaves which the Greek word do Lloyd that they translate from understand why they didn't do that, we think of slaves today were just hurts her heart with think of slavery. Today we think about the harsh taskmaster still staying there with a width of equipping his hand, ready to bring that whip down on the bareback of of a person who they are trying to to bring into submission against their own will will focus one glimpse of God in his glory and we will be begging to be his slaves, begging to be his slaves say Lord you are holy you are gracious you are so good and working to realize that what what we do in serving the Lord is going to bring us unbelievable joy and it's gonna bring him honor and brothers and sisters. I want you know that how you serve God right now on this earth is going to greatly affect how your able to serve God in heaven for the greater you serve God here, the more opportunity you're going to get in heaven to serve him is to honor him. Luke 1917 through 19 says this and he said to him, well done good servants because you been faithful in a very little. You shall have authority over 10 cities and the second came say Lord your Myla has made five minus and he said to him, and you are to be over five cities with God is God. What is a need anybody to rule over city bikini just do it himself was sure he could but but in his love he has chosen to involve us in his work is part of God's love is part of God's wisdom to involve his human creation in the things that he desires to accomplish.

That's true here on earth, but it will even a greater truth in heaven look at verse four. They will see his face and his name will be on therefore heads. The idea of the name of the Lord on the four head goes all the way back in the Old Testament to Aaron who was the high priest, and a high priest, Erin would wear a crown on his head and across the front of that crown would be the name of the Lord, and when what did that represent represent ownership.

He was saying. I belong to you, Lord, I bear your name Scripture also says here that we will see his face.

As you go through the Scripture. You'll find many places with the Scripture says that human beings here nail as sinful human billions we can't see the face of God and live if we were to see God in all of his glory. We couldn't handle it. We would absolutely short-circuit we could not handle that kind of glory would be too much for us all, but look what's gonna happen in heaven in heaven.

First John 32 says this, we shall be like him, for we shall see him like he is face to face with Christ, my Savior face-to-face. What will it be. Jesus said that Hale was prepared for the devil and his angels. But heaven is prepared for us, but this world is not our home, and God wants us to know that when we get to heaven. For the first time ever, will really understand what home is had a friend of mine who went to Scotland he had relatives that were in Scotland that he'd never seen before. Wanted to meet him. So he went met with these relatives and city was absolutely shocked. He said he looked like a lot of them. They said that same color hair same, facial features is laudable about the same height.

He said he was shocked that he was so much like them. They came from a different culture. They spoke with a different accent, but he said they even thought alike is that not amazing how we that belong to the same families on earth have so much in common, and yet in heaven we as the children of God are the family of God and will have more in common than we can even begin to imagine most of it is this God is our father .4's light and night will be no more. They will need no light or land of lamp or son, the Lord God will be there light and they will reign forever and ever and Joel Vicki's commentary on Revelation, he shared with Charles Spurgeon said about light. In heaven, and Spurgeon just said it so much better than I cancer just listened closely to this. Spurgeon says, is this like to be understood in three ways. First, light is the cause of joy. This is a joyous city for light in Scripture, symbolic of joy, just as darkness is symbolic of sorrow. Christ is heaven's joy believers in heaven rejoice in their golden hearts palm branches in white robes because these are Christ love gifts. However, the essence of their joy is Jesus himself, and see in his face, as John says in Revelation 22 verse four there joy is the beatific vision come true, and now they bask in Jesus smile and feast in his presence there. Joy consist of the assessed Spurgeon Jesus chose us Jesus loved us. Jesus brought us Jesus washed us Jesus Road does Jesus kept us. Jesus glorified us here we are entirely through the Lord Jesus through him alone. Second, this light imparts beauty to the city, but the layout the Lamb is the light of heaven. All that is beautiful about heaven, including the saints them sales flows from the Lamb. Their beautiful X excellence. Their beautiful triumph in their beautiful glory are all due to the Lamb who is the light of heaven. Third, this light is knowledge there is no need for light in heaven because Christ is the source of all that believers must know Christ manifest himself to his saints here on earth for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. In the light shall we see light listener. This in glory. This light will be far brighter. So the knowledge will be much greater when the wife of one of my best friends passed on to glory. I said to him in the first five minutes that she entered into glory.

She became a better theologian of Christ, then you or I have ever been because Christ is the light of heaven. Spurgeon says we shall know more of Christ in five minutes when we get to heaven, then we shall know in all our years on earth is that not glorious spray heavenly father we weren't in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.

We don't know what it feels like to be innocent has never been a time in our lives when we haven't had to deal with the sin nature which you've given us a promise that the day is coming when we returned to Eden, a purified, gloriously enhanced Eden and Eden were we will not just be innocent but will be absolutely incapable of committing sin how we long for that. But we know this heaven is not something we deserve is the free gift of God that was purchased by the blood of his son. May we prepare our sales to praise Jesus forever and ever for that payment and father. We don't how much longer will be here on this earth. We may live for years. We may go home today, but whatever help us to redeem the time, and may every second we have the use to honor Christ. Thank you for all you've done for us, forcing Christ holy and precious thing we pray. Amen

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