The Bible begins with the history of mankind's fall into sin and ever after deals with the manner in which God solved this problem to restore mankind to the state from which he fell. That is how the Bible begins, and that must be kept in mind throughout the Bible. We will find in this study that the thought of man's fall from a Garden which contained a tree of Life, meant to be taken and eaten, is repeated throughout the Bible in various parallel symbolisms. The Bible thereby stresses to us the prime goal of the Word of God - that is, to teach us the manner in which we as individuals can return to the pre-fall existence of mankind where God intended us to be.
Another study we have written compares Revelation chapter five with Adam's plight. The Lamb, Jesus Christ, is seen past the cherubims (four beasts) and before the throne of God. God on the throne holds a book which the lamb takes. In Revelation 10, the same Lord gives the book to John to eat. In this study we will see and analyze this oft repeated note once again in the picture of the Exodus.
These references speak about certain people who had the privilege of eating something described as "holy", and also of the lack of opportunity for certain people to eat the "holy thing." Leviticus explains that the "stranger" or "foreigner" was not given permission to eat the "holy thing." And in the Exodus night of Passover we read that the uncircumcised person was not allowed to eat of the Passover Lamb until he was circumcised.
The "stranger" or "foreigner" to Israel, of Lev. 22:10, was an uncircumcised individual, for circumcision made one a member of the nation in those days under Mosaic Law. Being an Israelite was more of a religious issue than a racial issue.
Having read of the reference to the food as the "holy thing", of which the uncircumcised person could not eat, we realize that the uncircumcised individual must have been considered unholy himself. Holy things cannot be enjoyed by those who are unholy. All of this is a foreshadowing of a great New Testament truth regarding man's salvation.
Circumcision was the rite performed upon an eight day old male Hebrew child. It was the removal of foreskin from the child's reproductive organ. In other words, male children were born with something that was removed in circumcision. Unless this ritual was performed, the child could not be included in the nation of Israel.
This thought of males being born with a need to be circumcised of flesh which is natural to a male child's physique speaks to us about a spiritual thought regarding humanity. As a male child is born with flesh which was to be removed in order for the boy to become part of Israel, humanity is born with a "veiling" which must be removed in order to become a child of God. Humanity is born with a veil of "sin" and is in need of being "circumcised" of that sinful veiling. "Fleshliness" is what we are naturally endowed with. This fleshliness has a negative connotation due to sin. Flesh would never have gained a negative connotation in God's mind had Adam not sinned. But since the fall, and since sin indwelt Adam's flesh, we can say that fleshliness is a negative thing. That natural endowment is what hinders our entrance into the Kingdom of God just as the uncircumcised foreskin kept the male child out of Israel's Kingdom. The ordinance of circumcision was actually symbolic of the great removal of mankind's sin which was in the mind of God from eternity past. And He instituted that ordinance with this in mind. God looked ahead in time to the day in which mankind could be saved from sin and ordered the rite of circumcision from the time of Abraham.
We know that Adam's actions of disobedience threw all of mankind into sin, and that is why we are all born in sin and have need of being "circumcised" of that sin.
That act of Adam's disobedience occurred when he ate of the forbidden tree's fruit in the Garden of Eden. It is interesting to note that the very first action after Adam ate of that fruit was to make a veil for himself. This symbolizes to us the fact that Adam's actions of sin caused us all to be born with a veil of sin which must be removed through Christ's salvation.
They covered their intimacy with veils or aprons of fig leaves. Man covered himself. Adam is responsible for putting a veil of sin on humanity. Nobody else. Satan did not make man sin. Man chose to sin. So we can see how removal of sins is typified by removal of the veil which Adam engineered to cover himself and also by the circumcision of ancient Israel.
God did in fact remove the veil Adam had made, and covered him with another covering provided by Himself.
In the verse immediately following the account in which Adam was re-clothed by God, we read that he was thrust out of the Garden of Eden and barred at the Garden's Eastern Gate away from the Tree of Life.
With the thought in mind of God stripping Adam of the fig leaves and covering him with "coats of skins" we then read of Man having been driven out of the Garden for the distinct reason that God did not will that he then take of the fruit from the Tree of Life. This is notable. The barring out of the Garden is to be considered in lieu of the issue concerning Adam's covering. God's word lists the order for a reason. First we see that God stripped Adam of his apron and then reclothed Adam. Then we read that God barred Adam from the tree of life. Adam's veiling of himself is considered with the thought of God's refusal to allow Adam access to the Tree of life.
Let us get the whole picture as it stands today. Mankind is born in sin and in need of having sin removed due to Adam's transgression. Mankind is born outside the Garden of Eden and therefore outside of the opportunity to receive eternal life typified by eating the fruit of the Tree of Life in the barricaded Garden. Mankind is in need of returning through the gate of the Garden and proceeding once again to the Tree of Life so that he may eat and live forever! How can the gate be breached? What could allow man to eat of the fruit of Life? The Exodus story foreshadows the answer.
Recall how the "stranger" was not allowed to eat of the HOLY THING due to his alienation from Israel's law and due to his unholiness. The same thing went for the Passover Supper of the Lamb. The uncircumcised man could not eat of it. Since the circumcised man was allowed to eat of the holy thing, we see a clear correlation between eating the Passover and eating the fruit of the tree of life. Adam was rendered unholy due to sin, and for that reason he was barred from the Tree of Life. The sinful veil which covered him rendered him unholy and was the reason for his lack of access to the fruit of eternal life. For the same reason the uncircumcised man was not allowed to eat the Passover meat.
Picture the night of the first Passover. A lamb was slain. Its blood was applied to the lintel and two doorposts of the houses by being soaked on a hyssop branch which was struck on the doorway. Inside the houses, that same lamb, whose blood was shed, was then eaten by circumcised people. (The women either were daughters of a circumcised Israelite, or were wives of the circumcised male, thus being included in the meal by the representation of their men). This parallels so wonderfully with the idea of man gaining access into the Garden of Eden by removing the unholiness that was veiled upon him that he may eat of the Fruit of Eternal Life and live. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
Egypt was to be plagued by a death angel. The destroyer was to pass through the land, but God would not allow the destroyer to enter the homes which had the blood around their doorways.
Circumcised Hebrews passed through that blood-stained doorway and thereby entered the houses to eat the meat of the lamb slain for them. Death occurred in every home in Egypt, for the firstborn of every family would die by the plague. And while death occurred throughout the land, the Israelite families, whose men were circumcised, enjoyed salvation from death and ate the lamb. You could say the Lamb typified the fruit of eternal life, for while they lived and ate the lamb, the Egyptians' families experienced death.
Adam was kept from the tree of life by a Gate with cherubims and a flaming sword of judgment. The gate kept out the unholy man and his wife. Passage through that gate alone would allow man to reach eternal life. The means by which Israel was saved from the angel of death was their passage through the bloodstained doorways of their homes. Passing through that blood-encompassed doorway was like passing through the Garden's gate. But the Garden and the houses had DOORWAYS which read very prominently in the respective stories. It is important that we see the typology involved with the thought of ENTRANCE. Doorways led to life and salvation from death! Outside the Garden is death, just as death filled the land of Egypt outside every Israelite home. A doorway makes the difference from being "outside" and "inside".
Israel had to pass through the blood in order to eat the life-representing meat of the Lamb. One could even say that Israel typically entered the Lamb itself, for what better way to symbolize entrance into the Lamb than by having one pass through a doorway surrounded by the blood of that lamb. We "enter" through doors.
The New Testament speaks much of position to be experienced "in Christ" as though Christ were a Garden or House into which one could enter.
Notice the constant reference to "redemption" in Christ after reading the following reference to redemption experienced at the Passover:
Exo 13:13-15 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
The redemption of the ass among all the other animals compares to the thought of Israel being slaves. An ass was a beast of burden. Among all the people of the world, Israel was a nation of slaves while in Egypt. But God chose to redeem them by a lamb!
Also, Christ is the FIRSTBORN from the dead. The firstborn of Egypt suffered. Christ is the firstborn who suffered INSTEAD of us. We should have died, but Jesus took our places.
After the escape from Egypt through the lamb's blood, a song of Moses was sung across the Red Sea, and the student of the Bible should find many insightful statements, among which is the following:
God "redeemed" Israel when they were spared from the death. And that occurred when they entered the doorway surrounded by blood and ate the slain lamb's meat. (Consider this and other thoughts in reference to the Song of Moses and the Lamb as noted in Revelation 15:3). So it is not any coincidence that the Apostles taught that "In Christ" we have "redemption."
So entering into the Garden is typified by passing through the blood and entering into Christ to receive eternal life. He is the Lamb that died and we enter into Him and find eternal life and redemption.
Christ actually said He was the door!
He is the door! He is the Lamb whose blood spilled forth that we might enter into Life.
He is the way and He is the Life! This means He is the gate and the eternal life within the gate! This means it is through the death of Christ on the cross that we find eternal life.
It was not His teachings that redeemed us, nor the miracles He performed. Unless He died on the cross nobody could be saved. God said that He looked for the blood before He would pass over the Israelites and save them from death. And that clearly prefigures the blood the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Notice the following details regarding the thief:
The thief comes to destroy. God said he would protect Israel from the Destroyer:
The destroyer kills. It brings death. But Jesus Christ came to bring life, and more abundantly! He is the fruit of life from the tree of Life. He is the lamb we partake of and eat and live forever.
John 6:53-54 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
The stranger had to be circumcised before he could eat of this symbolic eternal life. While others died all through the land, those who ate of the lamb lived. Note that the Lamb could not be eaten unless it had been slain. And the slaying of the lamb was accomplished for the purpose of striking its blood on the doorways to save them from death. So we can see that eating the lamb is linked with salvation from death. Eating the lamb is, then, eating life! But the uncircumcised could not eat.
The doorway surrounded by lamb's blood and the eating of the lamb are intimately linked together. And they pertain to circumcision. It is interesting to note that entrance into Christ, typified by the bloodstained doorway, is accomplished through water baptism, which, said Paul, is spiritual circumcision:
Circumcision here is said to remove the body of "sins." It removes the veil which veil rendered mankind unholy.
When Jesus, the lamb, died and shed His blood that we might ENTER into Christ, the veil of the temple rent. "Circumcision" in type occurred.
Entrance into the Garden was typified by the veil of the temple ripping open. This portrays how the way into the house of salvation in Egypt was through the blood of a lamb shed for salvation. It was through Christ's death that access into life was made possible. The holiest of holies in the temple, which was barricaded by the veil, was typical of the Garden of Eden. Jesus opened access for us to enter through His death, represented by His blood. He alone is truly the only way.
The veil of this temple had cherubims embroidered on it (Ex. 26:31). And this reminds us of the cherubims God placed at the Garden entrance to block Adam from the tree of life within the Garden. This veil is removed when sin is removed. The moment Christ died was the moment my sins were removed in the mind of God, for God seen ahead in time when I accepted Christ's death as the only means to remove my sins. That is why the veil rent in the temple the moment He died to show in symbol that my veil of sin was removed through His death.
Perhaps the cherubim on the outside of the veil, which faced those who stood outside the Holiest, indicated the fact that Adam, the anointed Cherub, was cast out of the Garden.
This pertains to Satan, but it also pertains to Adam who was cast out of the garden. Adam was cast out of the Garden as Satan was cast out of Heaven.
Our sins were like graveclothes upon humanity, for our sin was the reason for our doom. The souls that sin must die. This veil of death was wrapped around all of humanity in Adam's transgression. We were born wearing this death shroud. But Christ came to remove it.
When we accept Christ's death as all important and exclusively necessary for the removal of our sins, we actually experience the removal of that shroud from our lives as it is transferred onto Christ. When we take off the old robe, Christ takes it upon Himself. And though Christ wore our robe of sins and died wearing it 2000 years ago, remember that God sees all of time in a constant "now." I can say that He took my sins the moment I asked forgiveness as well as I can say Christ took my sins 2,000 years ago. The references to the old man and the old robe refer to our sins which were removed from our lives when we were saved from sin.
The new man which we put on is the "robe" Christ wore and which Christ traded for our old robes. It is Christ's righteousness. Compared to a shroud of death, that is putrid and stinking, Christ's righteousness is most clean and white! The world would scream in disgust and fear if it could see how ugly and sickly the veil of sin which they wear truly is as God sees it. Thank God He took my sins and gave me His righteousness.
When Christ literally was buried, He was buried in graveclothes.
These items were found in the grave after Christ arose.
Jesus took our sins as graveclothes into the tomb with His dead body. But when He arose, He left behind those sins in the tomb to remain buried!! When we are buried with Him in baptism into His death we leave behind the sins we wore as we rise from that watery grave. We not only died with Christ, but we were buried with Him and rose from the dead with Him. As He rose without the Grave clothes, we rose without sins.
Exodus actually means EXIT. The whole story of God's Word to mankind is our EXIT from sin and entrance into Christ.
We exit our sin when we are circumcised.
Our hearts are circumcised. Those whose hearts have been circumcised of sin are the true "Jews" of which the physical Jews of the world merely foreshadowed. The Church is the true "Israel of God" (Gal 6:16). Our hearts were meant to receive God's life-giving words, of which the fruit of Life in the Garden typified in symbolic form. God revealed to us that mankind missed receiving the WORD of God and instead received a concoction of theology and a salvation-by-works mentality which actually is a vaunting up of self, for if self can commit works to attain righteousness, then we do not need God. Self is then made into a god. The liar said...
Supplying ourselves with as much knowledge of what is good and what is evil is accomplished for the sole purpose of avoiding all that is then known to be evil and doing all that is then known to be good. This is what the forbidden tree typified. The sin in Eden was not in literally eating a fruit, but in seeking to exalt self outside of God's plan through the accumulation of knowledge concerning what is good and what is evil. Mankind then takes such a rule book and endeavours to render himself perfect.
This exaltation is rooted in the heart of all of us. Hence, our hearts are VEILED and in need of circumcision. The disease of self-exaltation is the root of all evil. It was Satan's disease and was transmitted to humanity. Self-exaltation is the mark of the beast. It is the worship of self as opposed to the worship of God Almighty. It is the number of a "man". A human being. Self. Man is merely a beast outside of God's Kingdom. Man will remain in lowliness with the beasts which were made the same day he was created if man does not circumcise his heart and uplift Christ as God Almighty! The first step is for self to admit its need of death due to its sins by accepting the fact that Christ had to die in our places due to the sinfulness of our beings before God could accept us again in holiness.
The ultimate insult to the Creator and loving Father was the preparation of aprons without God's consultation. Man solved man's problem himself... or tried to. He actually damned himself and covered over his conscience to hide it.
The heart is said to be veiled when Moses' Law is looked upon for attainment to righteousness.
This is true since Moses' Law commanded one to accumulate the knowledge of good and evil in order to understand what and what not to do to become righteous. Of course God knew man could not attain righteousness in that manner, but it was a necessary work in giving man that Law in order for man to experience the hard way how limited he actually is.
Man had to understand that he could not make himself righteous through self-effort. And before God brought in the wonderful experience of salvation by faith, He gave man law.
Paul explained that Law was instituted distinctly at the period between Abraham's promise and the fulfillment of that Promise. Before the promise would be fulfilled, God saw it necessary to put man under Law. And he explained that Law was a schoolmaster to teach Israel a lesson, as all schoolmasters do, until the time in which Christ would come. And Law would teach man that we are justified by faith. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Law was a teacher to teach us that we must be justified by faith. How would law teach this lesson to us if it taught justification by works (Gal 2:16)? The answer is simple. By commanding man to make himself righteous, and man discovering that such a feat was impossible, the Law would in effect have taught man that righteousness can only come by faith. When Christ indeed did come, the conscientious Jews certainly were driven to accept Him and His offer of righteousness by faith in His death.
Underneath Law, then, the veil cannot be removed. The heart remained plagued by the veil of sin. Only faith in Christ removes the veil.
The removal of this veil is the circumcision. Turning the heart to Christ is putting our faith in His death as being necessary to render us holy and righteous. And we experience the unveiling which we required when we turn our hearts to Him alone.
Christ hung on the Tree of Life as a fruit of eternal life which must be eaten by those made holy through faith in that death for our sins. We continue to feast on the truths of Christ through His words, and will remain in eternity through the strength provided by that "meat".
Our eternal existence is mentioned in the context of the following reference to the Tree of Life.