When Eden Blooms Again and Dead Men Live

MANY of us have thought of that special event in time when life was given to Adam. With our mind’s eye we see that garden, eastward in Eden, and the superbly proportioned and perfect body which lay lifeless.

In our imagination we see his rib cage suddenly expand; rhythmic breathing starts. It becomes evident the life-force is pulsating through his body. His eyes open and see overhead the green bough of a tree. His head turns, and his eyes slowly focus on colorful flowers. We note a deliberate inhaling of air, and to his sense of smell comes the sweet fragrance of that garden. A song bird trills, and his eyes turn toward the location of that sound. His hand slowly rubs the grass, and the fingers flex.

At the moment life started, that wonderful, perfect brain was, in a sense, like a blank piece of paper. It had yet to have written upon it the myriad impressions to come from the stimuli of his five senses. Memory cells began their work, and in proper time the process of reasoning would start.

Of course we do not know the details of those first moments and days. However, we do know there was a learning process, the same as with a newborn babe. The big difference between Adam and a newly born babe was that he received life into a fully developed perfect body and brain. It is quite possible angels attended him during his first days and months.

The Scriptures indicate that Adam gave names to all the animals while he was without a helpmate. No doubt the names he gave related in some way to the appearance or characteristics of the animals he studied. This called for a very resourceful imagination, and seems to indicate the quick development of his reasoning powers. However, we do not know how much time elapsed for the accomplishment of his project.

The Scriptures indicate that Adam’s naming of the animals, male and female, made him realize that he was alone and without a mate. We read, “And Adam gave names to all cattle and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.” (Gen. 2:20,21) When he awoke he beheld his God-given helpmate, who was lovely. Eve was the most exquisitely beautiful woman that ever graced the earth. We do not know how long was their perfect idyllic relationship. We do know their lives changed abruptly when Adam, not being deceived (I Tim. 2:14), disobeyed his Heavenly Father.

The forcing of them out of the garden eastward in Eden was the first step in carrying out the sentence, “Thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) They had to leave Eden because therein were all the nutrients needed to sustain a perfect organism. We read, “And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden.”—Gen. 3:22,23

However, the “unfinished earth” to which they were expelled seemed more capable of sustaining human life then than it does now. Several facts cause us to arrive at this conclusion. One of these indications is the long life span of those who lived prior to the flood. But one might say this was because the human family was not so far removed from perfection as we are. No doubt this did contribute somewhat to longevity, but after the flood there was a marked and sudden decrease in how long man lived. Why?

It would seem one factor was the kind of food available for both man and beast prior to the Flood. We note with interest that before the Flood man and beast ate only the herb of the field for their nutritional needs. “And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”—Gen. 1:29,30

After the Flood the Lord told man he could eat the flesh of animals: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Gen. 9:3) This would seem to indicate that some of the protein-rich vegetation which grew before the Flood was no longer available. It could be that the abrupt change in climate plus the rain may have destroyed such plants. Before the Flood it did not rain: “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth. … But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”—Gen. 2:5,6

Man’s need for protein is vital, as it is with animals. We get most of our protein in eggs, milk, cheese, meat, and other limited foods. The vast majority of humankind is protein-hungry. Nutritional researchers tell us that protein is composed of twenty-two amino acids. Cattle can eat just grass and yet, because of their type of digestion, they manufacture all of the amino acids. Man, in his digestive process, can manufacture all but eight. These eight are called, by nutritionists, “essential” amino acids; that is, we must get these acids from eating protein foods in which they are present.

If foods having the essential proteins are missing from the diet, serious health problems occur. We recall that during the Biafran War we saw tragic pictures of emaciated children with huge swollen stomachs. The disease they had is called “kwashiorkor” and is a result of a diet lacking the amino acid, lysine. It is estimated that many millions of mankind suffer from this type of malnutrition. The word “kwashiorkor” is a Ghanian word, which means “red joe.” Those of Ghana noted that those suffering from this disease also have red or copper-colored hair, hence the name.

For man to live forever on the earth will mean the need for life-sustaining food, containing all the necessary nutrients, including “trace” elements of various kinds. It would also seem that there would be an end to all harmful bacteria and viruses. Weather, no doubt, would change, so that the major land surfaces of the earth will not be hot deserts or frozen wastes.

It is not our thought that man will gradually develop the proper plant life, or on his own, know all the nutrients and trace elements needed. But through research he is now tantalizingly close to information which suggests that complete nutrition is possible. The full story will be left to the kingdom and The Christ’s beneficent reign.

We do know that the eating of flesh will end in the kingdom. Even the predatory animals will lose their lust to kill and eat. Isaiah 11:6,7 tells us, “And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” Evidently there will be vegetation that will supply all the protein needs.

Recent experiments show the reality of such plants. A Reader’s Digest article of January 1975 was entitled, “The Corn That Could Change the Lives of Millions.” It stated a hybrid corn called “opaque-2” was developed that was “richer in protein than milk, almost as rich as meat, [and] holds promise of an end to the malnutrition that stunts minds and bodies of people across much of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.”

Three agricultural scientists at Purdue University discovered that this particular hybrid, soft, opaque kernel carried twice as much lysine and tryptophan as normal corn. The article cited a special test made with seven children and revealed these startling results: “All [seven] were in advanced stages of kwashiorkor, near death. Six-year-old Mario, for example, weighed no more than a two-year-old, and he suffered skin lesions, body swelling, loss of appetite and severe diarrhea. Five-year-old Luis was in the same state, and his black hair had turned reddish and brittle, and could be plucked out by the handful. When Dr. Pradilla put the seven children on a diet of opaque-2, body swelling subsided in two weeks, diarrhea ceased, and all of the children started to gain weight. Within 100 days they had recovered fully and looked normal.”

The Bible suggests that many diseases are due to lack of needed nutrients found in vegetation. For instance, in describing the kingdom function in Revelation 22:2, it states pictorially, “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves were for the healing of the nations.” Of course this is a picture of The Christ giving life to the world. But the illustration used does suggest that there are healing properties in plants.

Man has been learning more and more about the value of trace elements. It will require the kingdom before man is taught all about the necessary elements. Many years ago there was an area around the Great Lakes that was called the “Goiter Belt.” It was discovered that the land was deficient in iodine, and hence edible vegetation grown there was devoid of this vital element. The lack of iodine in the diet affected the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. When these glands swell and enlarge, the disease is identified as goiter.

To counteract this deficiency, iodine in trace amounts was placed in table salt. The occasional use of salt so treated gives the body its needed iodine and prevents the enlargement of the thyroid gland. The amount of iodine placed in the salt is only three-tenths of one percent of volume; but even though the amount needed is just a “trace,” malfunctioning occurs without it.

Some years ago in Australia a new area was opened for sheep grazing. The sheepmen and veterinarians were puzzled because some of the ewes began to abort their lambs. After much research it was discovered that the land was very low in cobalt. When this element was added to salt licks in trace amounts the problem was solved.

Sometimes too much of an element present can have serious effects. A Dr. Schroeder of Dartmouth University was studying reported cases of hypertension in the State of Pennsylvania. He observed that one area was much higher than another. The thought occurred to him that a difference in the water might cause the higher incidence in one area versus another. In laboratory tests he found that the area with the higher count of hypertension had water with high amounts of cadmium. Experimenting with mice, he produced hypertension by increasing the intake of this element. The element zinc reduced the tension.

It was learned that galvanized water pipe is high in cadmium, and the city of Boston has been replacing such old pipe with copper. Also there have been suggestions that one should let a faucet run a bit before drinking the water which passes through. It was stated that water which stands in the pipe a long while could have too much of this element.

We believe that after the Flood bacteria appeared which had not been present before. We deduce this from the fact that Noah became drunken with wine from a vineyard he had planted. (Gen. 9:20,21) It seems to have been a new and unexpected experience; hence we conclude there had been no fermentation prior to the Flood of waters. Some bacteria are necessary for reducing vegetation back to soil. However, it is quite possible that in the kingdom, a climate change will cause certain rays of the sun which did not previously strike the earth, to come through in abundance. This could destroy all bacteria and viruses unwanted by affecting their metabolism.

We now use antibiotics. There are two kinds, (a) bactericide, and (b) bacteriostat. The bactericide kills the germ on contact. The bacteriostat kills the germ by affecting its metabolism. Man learned to duplicate a short ultra ray from the sun with a specially designed bulb. These are called germ-killing lamps, and they are over every operation table in the United States. There are laboratories where germ cultures are grown for experimenting. If a worker forgets to turn off one of the germ-killing lights, it instantly destroys the bacteria culture in its presence. The rays of the light are not compatible with the metabolism of the minute organism.

Malachi 4:2 reads, “But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” This refers to The Christ, Head and body. But we believe the illustration used also brings out that the actual sun has many beneficial properties, and among them could be the cleansing of the atmosphere of all harmful organisms.

Specially needed in the kingdom is a climate change. How much of the earth is thirsty and unproductive! It seems certain that rainfall will come to all portions of the land. It will not be necessary to water the earth through a series of manmade dams. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: … For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.” (Isa. 35:1,2,6,7) “Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.”—Ps. 67:6

Eden shall bloom again! The things puny man has learned about nutrition, plant life, and trace elements do feebly show the possibility of eternal life on the earth. But in the kingdom, not far away, it will be said, “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; that thy way may be known upon the earth, thy saving health among all nations.”—Ps. 67:1,2

Then dead men shall live. The resurrection of the dead has been difficult for many to believe. It was so in our Lord’s day. When the Sadducees, who doubted, questioned him, how wonderful was the answer: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God!”—Matt. 22:29

But generally comes the question, where will all these people find room to live? The Reader’s Digest Atlas suggests over 77 billion people have been born on the earth. We believe this to be a very high estimate. An illustration, however, has been used which puts the matter in perspective. The State of Texas has more that six trillion, six hundred and seven billion, one hundred and eighty million (6,607,180,800,000) square feet. Allowing ten square feet as the surface covered by each dead body, we find that Texas, as a cemetery, would hold 660,718,080,000 bodies, or over eight times the amount of the Reader’s Digest estimate.

Eden shall bloom again, and dead men shall live on a beautiful, glorious earth. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said … Write: for these words are true and faithful.”—Rev. 21:4,5

Dawn Bible Students Association
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