—Gardening from Eden to Eternity! DFO 1521 11/1/83
1. I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL TO BE A GARDENER WORKING ON A BIG ESTATE where you could enjoy the whole estate without paying for it, like living in the Garden of Eden & getting paid for it! Now I'm a gardener of a bigger estate than I could have ever imagined! We grow souls, our flowers, & our leaders are the trees & the little people are the grass.
2. BUT WHERE WOULD A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN BE WITHOUT GRASS to cover up the mud & give you a nice soft carpet? God bless the grass & the flowers & the trees, & I guess some of them are the hedge to keep intruders & enemies out! You usually use bramble bushes with thorns that people don't like for hedges, so they are very necessary. The thorny people make good hedges! I guess I'm the gardener that watches it & prunes it & keeps it & takes care of it.
3. WELL, ACTUALLY THE LORD IS THE GARDENER—I'M JUST ONE OF HIS ASSISTANTS!—Because He sends the rain & the sunshine & He makes the things grow. For one plants & another waters but it's God that gives the increase! (1Co.3:6) I guess sometimes we water it with our tears as well as the Water of the Word. Trees are very necessary, they hold the soil together & encourage the growth of the brush & the vegetation below that helps hold the soil together‚ otherwise the rains & the floods just wash it away. So they're like the leaders that hold the people together & keep the Enemy's floods from washing them away.
4. REMEMBER HOW IN REVELATION THE 12TH CHAPTER THE DRAGON THROWS A FLOOD OF WATER OF LIES OUT OF HIS MOUTH TO TRY TO DROWN THE WOMAN? But the earth opened up her mouth & swallowed it & saved the woman. (Rev.12:15‚16) I guess the earth is the mud that soaks up the floods. I think I brought that out somewhere, how the World swallows up those lies, but we don't, & that helps to save us. So even the grass does its part to help keep the top soil on & soak up the rain.
5. EVEN DRAINAGE DITCHES ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO SWALLOW UP THE EXCESS WATER. I mean, you're important even if you're a drain or a sewer, like the Letter about "I Am a Toilet!" (No.264) It showed how a toilet is the most important vessel in the whole house. The drainage is very important to the garden to get rid of the excess water & channel it away someplace else‚ that's what they're doing out there now, they're digging a drainage ditch. PTL! TYL!
6. WELL‚ THE LORD PROVIDES ALL THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS: Beautiful blue sky, clouds, the sun & the rain & the plant food & the soil & the air. Did you know that there's even plant food in the air? There are some plants that just live on air‚ called air plants! They usually need trees to hang on. A lot of people don't know that, but orchids are air plants, & its flowers just hang on trees. And so is Spanish moss, beautiful silvery Spanish moss they have some places. I don't know if they have that any place else in the World but in the Southern United States, but it's very beautiful, like grey hair to a tree. But if you have too much of it‚ it can smother the tree too.
7. TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING SEEMS TO BE A DETRIMENT TO ANYTHING, WHETHER IT'S A GARDEN OR SOCIETY, too much water, too much sunshine, too many bushes. You can't let the garden just go wild, you've got to have a balance, just the right amount of trees, just the right amount of shrubbery‚ hedges, bushes‚ grass, drainage, flowers. Not everybody can be a pretty flower like you girls, a decoration & an ornament in God's garden, so beautiful, gorgeous, entrancing! You enchant me! Because even the flowers need shade, shade trees, or they burn up. Most flowers can't stand the sun all day, that's why they've got to have those beautiful majestic trees hanging over their heads to protect them & shade them. Trees are like husbands‚ leaders, to shade & protect the flowers & the little baby seedlings.
8. AND THE GRASS CAN'T GET TOO MUCH SUN OR IT'LL BURN UP! You can't have both sun & sprinkling the grass at the same time in hot tropical countries or it'll burn it. In tropical countries where it's so warm, you have to do your watering at night to give the water time to soak in, otherwise it just evaporates. The droplets act like lenses on the leaves to the sun & it will just actually scorch the grass if you water in bright hot sunlight. I had to learn that first just as a little boy watering the lawn in Miami. My Daddy taught me never to water the lawn in the heat of the day, just in the early morning or the late evening.
9. NOW THERE MUST BE SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THAT, A SPIRITUAL PARALLEL, that the scorching heat of the day when the sun is at its highest is not a good time to water. It's a good time for a little rest in the heat of the day. You work better in the morning in hot countries, early morning or late afternoon, that's why they all have two-hour siestas in the heat of the day. It varies, in some countries the heat of the day is 12-to-2, in other countries it's from about 2-4. So anywhere between those hours the garden has to take a siesta, take a rest. A lot of what I said about the farmer & his schedule & what he does, a lot of that is true too.
10. WELL ANYHOW, I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT BEING A GARDENER WAS ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL PEACEFUL HEALTHFUL JOB IN THE WORLD‚ & come to think of it, that's exactly the job God gave the first man, Adam! So it must be the best job in the World, to be a gardener!—Whether you're a gardener of literal flowers & trees & grass in some park or a gardener in the Garden of God's people.
11. OH, THAT JUST REMINDS ME OF JOE BORTMAN, ANOTHER ONE OF THE INFLUENCES OF MY LIFE, a real rebel Jew from New York who taught me some Bible & a few things that I know, another Universal Restorationist, by the way! And he was a gardener, a city gardener! He helped take care of the city parks & earned his living that way, then he had time & freedom to have his Bible classes & preach whatever he wanted to, he didn't have to be controlled by the people of the church or his supporters. He supported himself by gardening & then he'd preach & teach what he wanted to, things which were not quite so popular in the churches.—Joe Bortman, a New York Jew! Mind you, you don't often think of Jews as gardeners, or farmers either! Ha! My goodness, Honey, if I was to write a Letter about all the people that influenced my life‚ it almost never would end, like my life!
12. ANYHOW, HE WAS A GARDENER, ONE OF THE BEST GUYS I EVER KNEW! He really liked me, we got along fine! He had quite a harem too! He could live like he pleased, & the women all lived with him in his house & just adored him like my women do me! I don't know why they do, but he was a Jew too! "'Tis odd that God should choose the Jews, but God chose‚ which shows, God knew His Jew!" So he was a gardener & a real sweet guy & really funny, but he really really could teach the Bible! He was an Eternal Restitutionist, or Universal Reconciliationist.
13. YOU KNOW WHAT THE CHURCHES SAY ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE, & US PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN EVENTUAL UNIVERSAL RECONCILIATION, that eventually everybody is going to have some kind of salvation & be reconciled to the Lord or be saved or have some place on the New Earth, if not in New Heaven, you know what the churches say about us? "Oh those are the people that don't believe in Hell!" I'll never forget the first time I ever heard of those people, the church people would sneer & make faces & say‚ "Oh, they don't even believe in Hell, heh!" Well, I'll bet some of those church people now believe in Hell, we did then too.
14. BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE! WE BELIEVE IN HELL!—WE JUST DON'T BELIEVE IN HELL FOR EVERYBODY! (Maria: Or forever.) Exactly! We don't believe that Hell is for everybody nor forever, but that it's just for the worst, the most rebellious & defiant & disobedient & wicked & cruel & horrible, like the Antichrist & his False Prophet & the Devil & his angels. They're all going to go to the Lake of Fire, but not everybody! There are all kinds of stages & levels of punishment & purgatory & re-training‚ re-education, healing, re-indoctrination.
15. GOD RUNS A BIG SCHOOL, & LIKE ANY OTHER SCHOOL, IT HAS GRADES & LEVELS. You don't learn everything in the first grade, & not everybody is a good boy. Some people have to get spanked & disciplined if they're especially obstreperous & cantankerous, but they usually get straightened out. And if they don't get straightened out, then they do get thrown out! What did they used to call it in school? They had a word for it. It wasn't excommunication.—Expelled! That was it! You got expelled.
16. FIRST YOU GOT SUSPENDED FOR A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS IF YOU WERE NAUGHTY & you had to go home & your parents had to put up with you for a week or two—which was enough to make them do their best to make you be good! Then they let you come back to school, & if you still wouldn't learn‚ they finally just expelled you & kicked you out of that school entirely! Then you had to try to get in some other school or find some school that was willing to take you.
17. IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, IF THEY EXPEL YOU COMPLETELY, THEN NO PUBLIC SCHOOL WILL TAKE YOU! So then they have to pay big money to some private school to take these little reprobates & obstreperous incorrigibles! That's why they have so many of these so-called fancy military academies for rich kids‚ because they have real tough discipline! They take all the misfits & all the naughty boys & all the spoiled rich brats! They have tough military officers, actual ex-military officers from the armed forces, as teachers & disciplinarians etc.
18. WELL, I'M KIND OF GETTING OFF OF GOD'S GARDEN, BUT THE GARDENER HAS TO DO SOME PRUNING TOO & he's got to do some digging around & dunging & fertilising & watering & pruning & cutting off the dead leaves & dead branches & things that are not good for the tree, that are just dragging it down. You've got to get rid of some people who just won't change & who are just a drag, even the Lord has to in His Garden. We have to, & the Lord has to in the World, but they're not all necessarily going to the same place.
19. A LOT OF STUFF IS CAST INTO THE FIRE, THEN THERE'S OTHER STUFF THAT'S USED TO MAKE COMPOST FOR FERTILISER, & THERE'S A LOT OF ACTUAL DIFFERENT USES FOR THINGS YOU HAVE TO CUT OFF OR CUT DOWN. In some places they help build dams with it, or branches & leaves even help to build houses. So anyhow‚ all the garbage & all the sewage & all the roughage & all the trash are not necessarily all going to the same place! Some of it's washed away & reconstituted & re–cycled & useful again, others are cast into the fire & burned up! Well, I had to throw that in if you're going to get the whole story about God's Garden, because that's the end! PTL!
20. THE BEGINNING WAS ADAM, THE FIRST GARDENER, & HE WAS PUT IN THE GARDEN TO TEND IT & KEEP IT, THE BIBLE SAYS SO! (Gen.2:15) But apparently his wife didn't have enough to do, & while he was busy working, she was playing around with the Devil & got herself in trouble, & as a result got poor Adam in trouble! But he didn't have to eat the apple! Of course it wasn't really an apple, it was the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. But like so many men, like so many weak husbands‚ he just did what his wife told him to do, & that's what the Lord blamed him for: "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, & hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee‚ saying, Thou shalt not eat of it!" (Gen.3:17) So you guys who try to blame everything on your wives, you're not going to be able to pass the buck before the Lord!
21. SO WHO KNOWS, MAYBE HE WAS A GOOD GARDENER, & he must have been busy while his wife was alone with the Devil listening to the Devil's lies & tempting her to eat of the Tree of Education! And when he came back she encouraged him to eat too, said it was great!—Good to the eyes, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, & it was also good for pride, the pride of life, to know good & evil & become like gods, like man today becoming like gods! (Gen.3:1–6; 1Jn2:15-16; Jer.2:11-13)
22. THEY'RE TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY GOD HAS ORDERED THINGS—change the genes, change the atoms, change the basic structure of the Universe & biology & the body & wreck the whole works—& if God doesn't stop'm pretty soon they're going to create monsters & total destruction! Because so much of what man creates is destructive & killing, horrible! The majority of man's creations that he manufactures & his inventions are very destructive. They're not good for the garden.
23. MODERN MUSIC, MODERN ART, MODERN THEATRE, MODERN DANCE, IT'S ALL HORRIBLE! Most modern stuff is just junk, ugly! Modern ballet is ugly, jerky, grotesque! So is the art, it's horrible, demonic, satanic, & the music too! Then, of course‚ his inventions have done more damage than anything ever! Automobiles kill more people every day than any kind of disease or even wars, & of course the wars do the rest. So most of man's garden of products & things that he has raised have been hell-raisin', no doubt inspired by the Devil, to kill, maim & destroy! The Devil's garden is Hell & he's trying to transfer it to Earth & create Hell on Earth. He's doing a pretty good job of it too, or a bad job of it. He's wrecking God's Garden, or trying to, & he'd finish the job if God didn't stop him pretty soon.
24. SO IN A GARDEN YOU'VE GO TO KEEP FIGHTING, I'LL TELL YOU, you've got to keep fighting the bugs, the Devil's varmints, the Devil's pests, & the rot & the fungus & the mold & blights & all kinds of Devil's attacks constantly! And you've got to fight the predators, the wild beasts who prey on the domestic animals, that kill & destroy & go about like the Devil, seeking whom they may devour! (1Pe.5:8) You've got to keep a good strong house, safe doors & windows to protect your family from the Enemy, good security, because the gardener's got to live somewhere too!
25. SO IT'S ALL LIKE A GARDEN, BUT I'LL TELL YOU, GOD'S GARDEN IS CONSTANTLY FIGHTING WITH THE DEVIL'S KIND OF GARDEN! You can hardly even call the Devil's a garden‚ it's a hell of destruction‚ the attacks of the Enemy trying to destroy God's Garden! That's his whole idea is to try to defeat God's plan & destroy God's Garden, God's children, but he's not going to succeed, TTL! He's going to come close—God's going to let him come close just to show the whole Universe what a mess things can get into if they don't follow the Lord—and he's going to almost destroy the World, maybe a third of it‚ hundreds of millions of people, & green things, poison the waters.
26. THINK OF WHAT A MESS SATAN'S GOING TO MAKE OUT OF GOD'S EARTH!—Poison the government, poison religion & just about poison everybody except God's Children!—Almost destroy the whole thing if it weren't for the Lord, the Great Gardener Himself coming back to rescue His Estate & kill & chase out all the usurpers & all the bad people who are trying to destroy His Garden & His Gardeners, His children.
27. AND AS YOU KNOW, HE'S GOING TO BURN UP A LOT WITH FIRE & DESTRUCTION & WAR, & THEN PURIFY IT FOR AWHILE IN THE MILLENNIUM to show the World that He's trying to redeem His Garden, the Earth‚ & restore it. He takes away the curse & the Devil & his angels & all of the worst of the people & He lets the better ones survive to try to rehabilitate'm & reform'm & change'm, & I think a lot of them will be here throughout the Millennium. He is going to try to restore His Garden & try to restore Heaven on Earth as it once was in the time of Adam & Eve—the beautiful perfection of the pristine Creation!
28. BUT THEN WHEN HE TESTS THEM & LETS THE DEVIL LOOSE AGAIN JUST TO SEE WHO HAS REALLY CHANGED & REFORMED & GOTTEN CONVERTED & SAVED & really loves the Lord & is really following Jesus, to sift them & to winnow them—to winnow is to weed out the chaff from the good grain—again the Devil's going to find a lot of rascals that are willing to follow him again & believe his lies & think he can win, those that didn't like to be under the bondage of the Kingdom of God & God's strict rules of behaviour & love. And they rebel again, go along with the Devil & try to again destroy God's Garden, His creation, the camp of the Saints.
29. SO ALL THOSE WHO HAVEN'T BEEN REGENERATED & REFORMED & RESTORED & RECONCILED & CHANGED & REPENTED & ALL THE PLANTS & TREES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SAVED, ARE GOING TO DEGENERATE AGAIN TO FOLLOW THE DEVIL & HAVE TO BE DESTROYED! And the whole surface of the Earth is going to have to be burned up to completely purify it & get rid of all those people that defy & rebel against the Lord & are disobedient. And the He is going to make a whole new Garden! PTL! A New Earth with a New Heaven, the Heavenly City come down from God out of Heaven to dwell with men! PTL!—That the Devil can never destroy again, never hurt, because he's going to be in the Lake of Fire along with his False Prophets & his Antichrists & all the rest of the worst followers of the Beast & the Dragon.
30. I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO STAY THERE, MAYBE THAT BUNCH WILL HAVE TO STAY THERE FOREVER, I DON'T KNOW! Maybe He'll have mercy on them one of these Millenniums if they ever repent, but maybe not. But all the rest of the people that have been reclaimed & recycled & reconstituted & regenerated, saved, that dwell on the New Earth, the Heavenly Earth, the most saved of all, the ones that got saved now before Jesus comes, are going to dwell in the Heavenly City. Maybe even some of those that get saved in the Millennium, I don't know, we'll see.
31. WE DON'T HAVE TO KNOW EVERYTHING LIKE THE PREACHERS! They've got to pretend to know everything or people will think they're awful dumb! After all, aren't they the great preachers? Aren't they the ones that read the Bible? Of course‚ the Christians never read the Bible hardly ever, so they don't know anything! They expect the preacher to know everything, that's what they pay him for! He's supposed to be the expert gardener & know everything!
32. WELL, LET ME TELL YOU RIGHT NOW, NO GARDENER KNOWS EVERYTHING, ONLY GOD THE CREATOR KNOWS EVERYTHING! Every gardener has to study & learn from other gardeners & from God the Creator & the Head of the Estate‚ the Owner of the Garden, the One Who made it! So we don't know everything by any means, we've got lots to learn & it's going to take us another thousand years of Millennium to learn part of it, & all Eternity to learn the rest! So we've got a long ways to go! So don't worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Mt.6:34) Don't worry about the past‚ it's done, you can't change it. "Forget the things that are behind, press forward to the things that are before." (Ph.3:13,14.)
33. ON THE OTHER HAND THE LORD SAYS SOMETIMES TO REMEMBER SOME THINGS, TO WRITE A BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE! (Mal.3:16) Maybe this history book is the Book of Remembrance! That would be a good title for this one! Of course all the Letters all together really are the Book of Remembrance‚ but that would be a good title for this book! The Book of Remembrance! Isn't that a nice title? (Maria: We could subtitle it "The Family Tree!") Yes, sure we could make that the subtitle. That's a good thing! Hallelujah! That was worth this whole morning! PTL! The Book of Remembrance! TYL! (No.1349)
34. THE LORD HIMSELF SAID TO WRITE IT DOWN IN THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE & THAT WE WERE TO LEARN FROM THESE THINGS THAT HE TAUGHT OTHERS IN THE PAST. These things were not only written for our sakes, He says, but they happened unto them for our sakes that we might learn & understand God's ways & how He's dealt with man in the past as a lesson to us today, & for tomorrow. (1Co.10:11).) So there are some things you are supposed to remember, but there are other things you're supposed to forget. Remember the good things & try to forget the bad things. Except remember some of the bad things as a lesson not to let it happen to you! So PTL!
35. IT'S ALL ONE BIG GARDEN & ONE BIG JOB & ONE BIG LESSON‚ A LOT OF LESSONS, & WE'RE CONSTANTLY LEARNING MORE EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY! We have a lot left to learn & to keep us busy from now to Eternity. PTL! TYL! But everything's always improving all the time. The longer you work on a garden & the more you learn & know about it, the better garden you keep & the more beautiful it becomes. It seems like an almost endless job, you've just got to keep at it, but you keep improving, you always keep making a little bit of progress. You're always thinking of something just like our own little yard right here. I keep thinking of different things to do to improve it, or our house, right?—All these little inventions we've invented, improvements, & trimming the trees & the hedges & taking care of the plants & the flowers & the garden.
36. WE'RE CONSTANTLY IMPROVING! Like Edgar Guest said about building a home, "Well I reckon that's fun, because it's a job you never get done!"—And that's like a garden, it's a work that has to be done all the time, you never get done really. The Lord never said anything about there is ever going to be an end! Ha!—Only an end to this age, this present time. Gardening never ends, that is, if you're going to keep a garden & tend it.
37. WHEN GOD GAVE ADAM THE JOB OF KEEPING THE GARDEN & TENDING IT, ADAM WAS GOING TO LIVE FOREVER—HE COULD HAVE LIVED FOREVER IF HE'D EATEN OF THE TREE OF LIFE! He didn't forbid them to eat from the Tree of Life, think of that, He only forbade them to eat from the Tree of Education‚ the Knowledge of Good & Evil. They could have eaten from the Tree of Life & lived forever! But because they sinned & disobeyed & ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, then He had to remove the Tree of Life from the Garden so they wouldn't live forever & do any more damage. Just think if wicked unregenerate cruel bestial man had immortality, look how much damage he could do! That's why God has to cut'm off, cast some in the fire & some to various other kinds of destruction.
38. SO PRAISE THE LORD, THAT'S GOD'S GARDEN FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END!—FROM ADAM & EVE TO ETERNITY! GOD'S GARDEN, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY! Amen? PTL! Is that enough? (Maria: If you're done I guess it's enough!) We're never done‚ but we've got to do it in chapters, little-by-little, each day, hour–by-hour, age by age, page by page!—Just like we write these books. This is my garden. I don't think God's going to have me just floating around on a cloud playing a guitar forever! Besides, I don't even know how to play a guitar! So that's one thing you guys can do I can't do!—Ha! Because that's not my job. The Lord knew I wouldn't need to play a guitar. Playing a saxophone was my idea, not the Lord's‚ & it never really did any good to speak of. Learning to sing I'm sure was the Lord's idea because that was a big help in the Lord's Work.
39. LEARNING TO TEACH & PREACH WAS OBVIOUSLY A PART OF MY ESSENTIAL NECESSARY TRAINING AS GOD'S GARDENER IN THE GARDEN OF GOD! Hey, that's a good title‚ "The Garden of God!" That's what He calls it in the Bible, God's Garden! Maybe the Garden of God sounds a little too formal. "From Here to Eternity", that's a good subtitle.—"The Garden of God—From Here to Eternity!" maybe we should say, to make it specific, from Eden to Eternity, hmm? (Maria: Yes!) The Garden of God, from Eden to Eternity! PTL! God bless you all‚ in Jesus' name, Amen!—Are you a good gardener?