One of the major factors we fail to take into consideration when expounding the scriptures is, the fall of man and the rehabilitation of his perception of things through out the passage of time.
If you look carefully in the incident in the garden, God did not separate himself from man. Man chose to hid.
From that moment everything God seemed to have done was punitive in nature. However what you are reading is written from the mindset of men whose had already formed a picture of God who punishes rather than reform.
This then evolved to God having re-educate men by placing them under a system that would frustrate this thinking at the foot of Sinai.
To be more precise one family and one nation. The plan was to get the nation to seek favor from God in conquering lands and winning wars.
It was God re-educating Israel that he was a helper not a punisher. Through this process God began to change the mindset of this little nation.
It is here that God allowed then to be captured by nations who followed other gods. This is due to the fact that men nevertheless take to gods which reflect was truly is in their heart and minds.
He then remained silent for 10 generations.
Then the unexpected happens, he took on human form. He dwelled among the people. He encountered them. He drank with them ate with them and even touched and be touched by them. Even lepers. Removing once and for all notions that sin was a factor dividing wall.
He called out those who were steeped under the Law as the real wall between God and men, that the true separation was one that was in the mind of religion and not in the mind of God.
He then warned them of the removal of this mindset and pictures of the mindset within 40 years of his presence with the Jews.
All mental pictures of this separating mindset and it’s messengers would be removed. The temple, the priesthood, it’s teachers and it’s city.
Through out the 3 years of his interaction with the poor, left-outs, “sinners” and “losers”, he told them that they were the temple, that they were royal priests, it’s messengers and they were the true dwelling place of God.
That they were loved. That they were desired. That they were little children of a Father who never left them.
However the picture was yet to be complete. There was an ultimate picture which had to be painted into the mind of men.
You see it all started when one man thought he was naked and that the shame of nakedness plunged him to a mindset of separation.
So. Jesus died naked.
Paul then told the world that God was reconciling the whole world to himself through Jesus on the cross.
The message was clear your nakedness never ever separated you fro God. Your self inflicted shamed did.
With this, the apostles began this message of reconciliation with a twist. Paul told them the separation was one in the mind albeit an illusion.
Hence the objects that kept them in that illusion had to be removed. So in AD70 Jerusalem, the temple and it’s messengers were removed. This was the death that God spoke about as mankind’s last enemy. Not physical death. The ministry of death.
With this “death” removed John paints to us a new picture a tree that reaches to both sides of the river of life.
Dear friends, this was the actual picture of Eden. There was never a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That Eden in Genesis was a garden formed in the heart of men. The Eden in Revelation is the true Eden that God placed men into.
That is how you should read your Bible. God had been with us all these time. He never ever left us. He was removing all that was condemning us, separating us, cursing us and dividing us. It took ages.
The message is clear. The real paradise was never Eden. It was us. We were the real Garden.
That’s why Jesus told us we were the branches. We have the waters of living waters flowing out in us. We are the lampstand, we are sweet smelling aroma and we are living sacrifice.
We are the true dwelling place of the Father all along.
God was never angry with you. We were angry with ourselves. We formed a picture of God who was angry with us. Worse still we formed thereafter a God who needed to be pleased to be good. Paul called it mixture. He called it death.
We have however been raised Paul tells us. What he means is that the picture we painted of ourselves is now replaced by the picture Jesus paints about us.
to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
This has always been humanity in God’s eyes. That’s why I have always advocated that the Bible should be read in reversed order.
You will realized you never left Eden. You are Eden.