Week 1 | January 6th & 7th

Between the Edens

What is God's cosmic mission, and what part do his people play in it? Like soldiers on the battlefield, Christians must comprehend their commander's intent. Our mission is to fill the earth with God's glory until the entire earth becomes a resting place for God. In this series, we're returning to the garden to re-discover God's deepest longing for his people.

Josh Blount
Lead Pastor
Fill the Earth
Oceans Music
After You
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Michael W. Smith
Fear of God

First Time Guest? Let us know!

Genesis 1:28
“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God wants us to “fill the earth”, until the entire earth becomes a resting place for the presence of God.

Certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy earth. We all long for it, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most humane, is still soaked with the sense of 'exile'.
J.R.R. Tolkien

The best of this world gives us a glimpse of what Eden was designed to be, but it never fully satisfies.

A longing exists in every human heart.

We are all exiles from Eden. Our hearts ache for a place we have never known, and this ache points us to our true home with God
Tim Keller

What was lost will be restored.

Revelation 21:1-4
Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth,' for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 22:1
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

We find ourselves between the Edens

Our assignment is to bring Heaven to earth. To bring Eden to this space between the Edens!

Parallel 1 - 3 Part Structure

Parallel 2 - The Priestly Assignment

Genesis 2:15
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

"work" and "keep" in Hebrew describe the work of the priests.

Numbers 3:7-8
They shall keep guard over him and over the whole congregation before the tent of meeting, as they minister at the tabernacle. 8 They shall guard all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and keep guard over the people of Israel as they minister at the tabernacle.

Parallel 3 - Image

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

When God created His sanctuary in the Garden of Eden, He created humanity to be His image in the sanctuary. 

Eden was on a high mountain.

Ezekiel 28:13&14
You were in Eden, the garden of God… 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;

A mountain in scripture represents a place where Heaven and earth meet.

Genesis 2:10
A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

Psalm 36:8
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

"delights" = Eden.

From the place of the presence of God flows a river of life that can fill and nourish the world.

Ezekiel 47:1
Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down

Ezekiel 47:12
And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.

Eden was designed to be this perfect place of fruitfulness and life Where the presence of God himself could dwell with the people of God. And from that place, that elevated place, the people of God could work as priests unto the Lord, to harness the life of God and fill the earth with the glory of God, expanding Eden, expanding God’s “it is good.”

Jesus establishes a new sanctuary

1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?

John 14:17
You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Jesus establishes a new priesthood

Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,

Revelation 1:6
He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father.

God's desire is not merely for personal piety but for a people who live in such a way that His kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. We are called to fill every aspect of life with the reality of His reign.
Dallas Willard

Jesus establishes a new high place

Ephesians 2:6
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:1
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

John 7:38
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

God's ultimate plan involves the restoration of creation, akin to the garden of Eden. Through Christ's redemptive work, we are invited to participate in the renewal of all things, bringing about a new Eden where God's shalom reigns.
N.T. Wright

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

God's purpose is to reclaim and restore His creation, transforming it into a new Eden. Through the work of Christ, believers are called to participate in this cosmic renewal, anticipating the day when God's kingdom will be fully realized.
R.C. Sproul

How do you fill the earth between the Edens?
Fill Yourself

1. Stay Filled With God’s Word -

Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth.

The Bible is like a well of living water. It satisfies the thirsty soul, and the deeper you dig, the more abundant and refreshing it becomes.The Bible is a deep, and the wisest philosopher can never exhaust it. Here, the elephant may swim, and the lamb may wade, and both may be equally at home, but none shall ever cross this ocean, or find a shore, or dare a launch into the infinite and bottomless sea of divine wisdom
Charles Spurgeon

2. Stay Fully Immersed In The Presence Of God -

A heart for mission grows out of a soul that finds satisfaction in God's presence, the riches of which can be seen in the imagery of Eden. Since the river of life flows from God's presence into the lands of nations, so our mission to the nations must flow from the life found in God's presence.
G.K. Beale

There is no limit to what God can do through a person who is fully consecrated and willing to be in His presence. Your assignment becomes a conduit for His power through His presence.
Smith Wigglesworth

The power to fulfill your assignment comes from time spent in the secret place, in the presence of God. It's where weakness is turned into strength.
E. M. Bounds

3. Guard Against Garbage -

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

The heart is like a factory, constantly producing what it is filled with. Guard it against contamination, and it will produce the beauty of God's glory.
Tim Keller