The Daily Word of Righteousness

A Basic Concept, #7

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:8)

At one point in history Paradise was on the earth. It was located in the region of the Persian Gulf, in the country of Eden. The memory of that garden, that marvelous park, is in the heart of every descendant of Adam.

Because of man's rebellion God removed the garden from earth and placed it in the heavens. Man looks to go to Heaven when he dies because of the memory of the garden eastward in Eden.

There is no death in the garden of God, no pain, no sorrow, no crying, no backbreaking toil in the midst of weeds and destructive insects. There is no danger to children. All is joy, peace, security, eternal happiness.

All of this is to be restored to the earth, along with the Presence of God, for man to enjoy forever.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' [viper's] den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Paradise will be restored to the earth at the hand of the perfected elect.

Who Are the Elect?

The term elect means "chosen" and is related in meaning to "church"—the people summoned from mankind to accomplish God's purposes.

Election is not the same as "salvation."

The elect are the people whom God has chosen from among the ranks of mankind to represent Himself to mankind. It is not that the elect are saved and the remainder are lost. The elect are God's witnesses whose role in the Divine economy is to reveal God to people.

The elect are the firstfruits of mankind, not the saved of mankind. Israel is God's "firstborn." We might think of the elect as being older brothers who receive the double portion of the inheritance that they might provide for the younger brothers and sisters. The elect are the first to be blessed in the Seed of Abraham. Then they become part of the Seed itself so that through them Christ may bless the remainder of the peoples of the earth.

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (Exodus 4:22)

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)

The Lord has chosen us not only to be saved but also to bear fruit.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:16)

To be continued.