What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

The narrative in the garden of Eden about the tree of life and the tree of good and evil summarizes the basic foundation of the plan of God, from the beginning, and revealed what actually is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Who to believe?

Notice that Adam & Eve had a choice, viz., to eat anything in the garden including the fruit of the tree of life that will make them immortal but not to eat the fruit of that one specific tree of good and evil, also in the midst of the garden, that will make them “like us“,i.e., like Elohim. That forbidden fruit of the tree, when eaten, they “will surely die“(Gen 2:9,16;3:3-5).

In contrast to the “fruit of the tree of life” that will give eternal life by becoming spirit-beings like God, eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” would give them wisdom “like Elohim”; so they wrongly thought and prioritized. They believed this lie from Satan that, even by violating that command “not to eat” the forbidden fruit, they would not die and continue to live in the garden of Eden so they can afterwards eat the ” fruit of the tree of life” and have eternal life. Hence, prioritizing “wisdom“, the “knowledge of good and evil” over “tree of life” eternal.

Elohim, being the omnipotent, omniscient and Creator/Word of all, their “desire” to be like him was understandable and logical. But, eating the forbidden fruit has consequence of death. They believed Satan instead of God. Aside from disbelieving the Almighty God, the action they took to be “like Elohim” was misplaced and misguided. God practically was saying, ” this is not the way to be like me“. The Serpent hoodwinked them into believing a lie that appealed to their “desire“. It was a temptation they could not resist and to their peril. Adam & Eve sinned because of disobedience to his command. Disobeying resulted from:

1. Disbelief in the Almighty-God(El Shaddai/YHVH), the one who stood for the Father at that time in Genesis. Belief is the core and hub that set the trajectory towards the future of humans. Without belief in him, no one can please God ( Heb. 11:6-8). Trust on what God said is the fundamental basis being set here.

2. Taking on being “like him” by themselves. It was not for the first Adam to reach that goal and to do it on his own,i.e., not his “own works”. That person would have to be the “last or second Adam” (Incarnated YAHWEH/man-Jesus) that was prophesied to reach that goal not on his own but by the power of the Holy Spirit given to him as a gift. Adam & Eve did not know this at that time but their sin was so seminal such that it can not be mitigated by lack of this knowledge.

Creation Goal

Notice the plan of God in the creation narrative:

1. He created the non-living, like the planets (universe), (he may have created first the angelic spirit-beings) then,

2. He created the living, like the plants and animals and different species within their “own kind”. The principle/law of Genetics was established; the plant kingdom and animal kingdom will stay within that kingdom although they may have different species within their kind. Simply stated, a plant cannot be an animal or vice-versa; no evolution from each other.

Much like darkness (non-living), the Word/Creator then said, “let there be light“. Darkness then light, non-living then life. After creating living plants and animals, the Word/Creator said, let us make man in “our image”, i.e. in the image of the Creator Elohim/YHVH, “like us“, not in the image of angels nor “plant or animal kingdom”.

Notice that YHVH was not creating spirit-beings, like angels. They were already created way before any other living creation. Nor was he creating a “human kingdom” or another animal kingdom. Nor was he evolving animals into humans. He was creating something unique from all creation,i.e., “likeness/image of YAHWEH ELOHIM(Lord God)”.

The goal of the Creator God was not creating a “human kingdom”. History shows that all “human kingdoms” failed from 1st Adam, Tower of Babel, Babylonian and its succession of kingdoms, Israel under Saul, etc. even towards the “ten toes” ( Daniel 2:19-45). His goal was to create man as a template , an image of him, to be “like him” (Elohim), and eventually a new creation, a “kingdom of God”, Spirit-composed, not a human kingdom, much different and above angelic beings or “angelic species“. This is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Strategic Plan for this New Creation

Much like any goal, there has to be strategic plan to reach it. Following through Biblical history one sees the following timetable:

1. Incarnation of the Creator God, the El SHADDAI, the YHVH, as in Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them”(New Living Translation) into JEHUSHUAH/man-Jesus/the WORD as in,

John 1:1 “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

2. For Jesus, the carpenter-builder to be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit.This occurred in river Jordan. He is the pioneer, trailblazer, captain, precursor ,Author..to start this process. See Heb. 2:10-11;12:2; 6:19-20). This power was used to overcome Satan and to do miracles, without which he would be “weak” like any human (Matt. 26:41; Mk 14:41). This power also sanctified him and guided him with wisdom. But more importantly, this Holy Spirit of power helped him to choose the Father’s will, not his own(Luke 22:42). Jesus is indeed “one” with the Father(John 10:30; 17:21).

3. After Jesus’ death as the Passover Lamb, he was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights, to receive personally and directly from the Father the gift, as promised, the Holy Spirit to then be given to those called in their time to empower them as well.

4. Those who believed and trusted God that what he promised, he will deliver, will receive the Holy Spirit of power, also for their sanctification, guidance and wisdom to choose right from wrong. As humans, even with the Holy Spirit, they(like man-Jesus) will undergo trials, tribulations, challenges ...”to make them perfect through suffering “(Heb. 2:10).

5. Those who bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, endure, persevere through the end, will then receive “immortality/eternal life”(Gal. 5:22-23; Matt. 7:19; Luke 13:9; Rom. 2:7;James 1:12;2 Tim. 2:12; Heb 12:1-2;Rev.2:26-28).

Summary

The timetable for humans to be “like him” required the incarnation of YHVH to the man-Jesus who came “from above“, a “temple not made by hands”. This was not “of works” of Adam or any man; it is a gift of God by grace, an expression of love. Adam was indeed forbidden to do this on his own as he was a man “from the ground“(Gen. 2:7), not “from above” as Jesus was(John 8:23). This man-Jesus was initially created below angelic beings (Heb 2:1-10; Ps 8:3-9;) but subsequently became higher than them when “declared to be Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). The strategy is for Jesus to die for the sin of mankind, as Passover substitute for mankind to reconcile us to God, be resurrected to life, as in “we shall be saved by his life“( Rom. 5:10), so that the Spirit could be sent to dwell in us for our development into His body, to be “one” as in, “we shall be like him”(I John 3:2; Gen. 3:5), our Elder Brother (Heb. 2:11)in this family of God. After Jesus fulfilled and declared as”Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead, he will then ” bring many sons to glory” ( Heb 2:10).

The kingdom of God is more than a government of God, more than a place. It is in fact higher than a plant kingdom, an animal kingdom, and angelic species. Great destiny and gift for mankind to be in the class of “Elohim” with Jesus and the Father. Let us therefore thank our Elder Brother Jesus and our God the Father

God bless

Original post: 7/1/18.

The Destiny of Man

The Destiny of Man

Why am I here? Did I exist because of evolution or creation? Why was I born? Is there any purpose in my life? These are questions people are asking themselves for guidance and direction in seeking self-worth, value and introspection.

Since the average lifespan is about 70-72 years, is that all there is to our longevity? Is our life on earth limited to a finite duration of time? Do telomeres predict our death? After death, then what? Should one care about whether there is life after death?

Different religions, whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism, Christianity , etc., profess that there is an after-life, although they differ in details. Knowing what the future has in store for us, brings perspective to how we value our present life and helps us understand our responsibilities and obligations, as well as what attitude and behavior we all need to adopt and express.

Creation or Evolution?



Since time immemorial, philosophers, seers and thinkers come and go. Yet, no reliable answer from them to these questions is forthcoming. Granted, they are all intellectually endowed and respected by the society and era that they lived in. Nevertheless, they are all farther from the truth for reasons that are obvious. Introspection and use of their own judgments and human abilities to search for answers, only left them with more questions. Answers to these pivotal issues are not forthcoming if we anchor our existence on evolution. Logic and wisdom lead us to a Creator. Had they turned to their Maker, their eyes could have been opened to the truth. For “…my thoughts are not your thoughts…. my ways are higher than your ways..” Isa:55:8-9. Also, isn’t it logical to listen to the Creator, as described in Job Chapters 38 and 39? We listen to others  and believe their writings, scientific or not, yet why is it repulsive to believe in those who personally witnessed God?

Source of Education:

Learning comes either passive or active. The active mechanism to learn is via our sensory somatic experience, viz., fire burns or heat is hot, when one touches a burning wood or the light of a candle. Also active learning comes from what we see and hear from a primary source and/or personally experienced. Passive learning on the other hand is when what we see and hear are from secondary sources, e.g., being instructed/lectured that an item is in fact hot and does burn, without actual personal experience. This is a first lesson in faith/trust in God who tells us the truth, instead of relying on our own finite brains, feelings, sight or hearing. Adam/Eve chose to learn the hard and active learning way by an actual experience of eating the “forbidden fruit”, instead of heeding the verbal admonition of God against it, via the passive learning process. They both paid an ultimate and heavy price of eternal death for their bad choice. Sometimes, it is wiser to learn from an instructor than experience the aftermath of a bad choice and decision. Whether one believes it or not, there is a living God who is our Creator, who totally and completely knows us and has plans for us from the very beginning. As this subject is about destiny, it is vital to go to the instruction book of our Maker, the Holy Bible, for an eye-opening reality. And, there is no better place to start than from the beginning.

Sequence and Pattern:

In the book of Genesis, it is essential to consider the pattern being set by GOD/YHVH-ELOHIM in the process of creation, viz.,

1. That first, there was darkness followed by light… non-living things were created, then living things, as after death will follow life.

Notice, that “….darkness was upon the face of the deep…” [1] then there was light. He first created non-living things, e.g. the planets and stars of multiple galaxies, then the living things, e.g. plants and animals. These are facts as narrated in the Holy Scriptures. But, what is the truth behind these events? It appears that this narrative has spiritual and functional meaning. GOD is showing this pattern of death (darkness, non-living) to be followed by life everlasting, that is to say that there is hope of life (light) after death (darkness, chaos ), in the same pattern that after lies,deception,confusion, and different interpretation will come the truth…that from mortality (death) will follow immortality (life forever)…that our current physical nature is temporal and will change to spiritual which is everlasting. Isn’t this a very powerful message of hope and renewal being taught to all of us from the beginning of time? Yes, our destiny is not eternal death and oblivion but eternal life.

2. Every living creature reproduces its own kind or likeness or image…..foundation of genetics.

Notice that before there was any other living entity, GOD/YHVH and angelic beings were already there as the only living entities ( see also fact-s.net/2011/05/21/what-is-god/). As the scripture says “…In the beginning, God created…” [2].
To establish this pattern of reproducing like-for-like, kind-for-kind, class-for-class, and same image-for-image, GOD created the plants and animals. He showed that they can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image. And, within this concept is “adaptation changes” depending on stimuli. After the plants and animals were created, at that particular moment, there were only three living classes of creatures, viz., GOD, plants and animals. After the principle of genetics was established that plants and animals can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image, what did GOD say?
Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness…” [3].

The plant-kind can only give rise to a plant, as the animal-kind can only reproduce the same kind. The same is true with the GOD-kind. Yes, God is reproducing himself thru the creation of man, human beings, flesh-composed, mortals. Man was created in the image of God..in the GOD-KIND, the highest and ultimate class of living entity. Not even was man ranked among the angels as Paul emphasized [4]. Man, although currently lower than angels, in the future will be higher than them. Starting from a “template“/temple of flesh-composed, the “spirit of man” the “breath of life” was put in there to experience life. This flesh-composed body is only temporary and will die. Subsequently, those who have “fruits of the Holy SPIRIT and are “overcomers” will be resurrected with “spirit-composed bodies”, immortals with eternal life. (See, https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/).

So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).

This is indeed an awesome destiny for man to be in the GOD-KIND,, or KINGDOM of GOD, not Plant-kingdom nor Animal-kingdom but GOD-FAMILY…GOD-KINGDOM. No wonder Christ prayed that man be”ONE WITH HIM” [5], as he is one with the Father, that Paul testified that we will be”…like his glorious body…” [6] that this flesh will change in a “…twinkling of an eye …” in the future to become spirit, from mortal to immortality…that man will “have dominion “…”overall” [7] … as GOD is over all. Yes, GOD is a family, with Jesus as quoted by Paul, the “…first of the firstfuits…” [8]… “the firstborn among many brethren” [9], with Jesus as our elder brother, and his/our FATHER being all-in-all and above-all. And to think that this was all planned even before the creation of the world, before you and I were born, before anyone committed evil nor has done any good work, is a remarkable and compelling proof of GRACE and unwarranted GIFT to be in the GOD-KINGDOM and GOD-FAMILY.

SUMMARY:

Our destiny far-surpasses our imagination (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Eph. 3:20.) Our flesh-composed body is temporal, merely a template. It has the spirit of man which is a “temple” ( I Cor.6:19-20), the “holy-of-holies” for the Holy Spirit to dwell ( Acts 1:8; Lev.16:2, Matt. 27:51) so that man will be “begotten son/ child of God”. At the resurrection, this flesh-composed body will change to “born son “, “from mortality to immortality” from carnal to spiritual as “sons/children of God”. What happened to Jesus from flesh-composed man to now spirit-composed will be our destiny. He is the precursor for all of us. He is our Elder-brother, head of the church/body and we “are one”. Indeed, grace and love manifested !


References



[1] Gen. 1:2 [2] Gen. 1:1 [3] Gen 1:26 [4] Heb. 2:6-18 [5] John 17:21-23
[6] Phil. 3:21 [7] Gen. 1:26 [8] I Cor. 15:23 [9] Rom. 8:29
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Original post:06/27/2003

Reposted:5/21/2011

Revised:4/24/2017

Revised:5/13/2018 Mother’s Day