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.

Ongoing Creation?

Ongoing Creation?

Is creation over? Or was it just the beginning, as in:

”In the beginning, God created the heavens (plural) and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

It maybe a surprise to some that the creation described in Genesis is just as stated, “the beginning”. While there were humans created prior to “first Adam”, the human creation in Genesis was specific and established the genealogy of the “last Adam“/Jesus. The best creation is still ongoing and finality is yet to come. What is that “best creation“?

With a mind-set towards global terrorism, violence against innocent victims and polarity among people in regards to what is right and wrong, the mind/spirit of man, more than ever, has to be changed to be”one” with God the Father. Unfortunately, human power is deficient (Mark 14:41; Matt. 26:41; Matt. 26:48-40) and needs “power from above”. The good news(gospel) is, the “helper” for this “change of mind” is coming, as in:

John 16:7,

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper(Holy Spirit) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

WHO was and is the CREATOR?

To fully grasp this coming “new creation”, one has to know who the Creator was and is. All Christian believers understand that there was a Creator. That creation demands an “Intelligent Designer” is as logical as acknowledging a manufacturer or builder for any product.

But who the Creator was, what was created, why, when, where and how appear to be questions that still may need to be explored. For those steep in religion, one can only refer to the Holy Bible for guidance and to trace his identity. So, together, let us consider this source to delve into the answers to these challenging questions.

In Genesis 1:1, the English word God was translated from the original Hebrew generic word”Elohim”. As a generic word, it refers to any “powerful being” that includes angels (even Satan is called “the god of this world”; 2 Cor. 4:4) and humans in powerful positions or any human being superior or more powerful than animals or plants, etc. But, there is only one God to be worshipped(Deut. 6:4; Shema Doctrine); all others are “false gods”, forbidden to be worshipped, although called “god” nevertheless(1).

To differentiate from “false gods“, this particular Creator Elohim was specifically identified as the “Lord God/YAHWEH ELOHIM”, as in:

Gen. 2:8

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

The Creator was YAHWEH/YHVH and no one else. This name YAHWEH was the one known to Moses, but he was EL SHADDAI to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, i.e., Pre-Moses era, as in:

Exodus 6:3 (New International Version)

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty( translated from Hebrew as EL SHADDAI ), but by my name the LORD (YAHWEH/I AM) I did not make myself fully known to them”.

New Living Translation

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh(I AM), to them.”

Exodus 6:2-3:

“And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the LORD.’I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh(I AM), to them.

Fast forward to apostle John and during the apostolic era, this YHVH was described in Greek as the “LOGOS“, in English as “Word as in:

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

On the side, in the New Testament rendering, the word God refers specifically to the Father and the Word or Logos refers to Jesus(2).

Then John continued to describe that this Logos chose willingly to be incarnated as planned:

John1:14 “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”

After incarnation, the same EL SHADDAI, YAHWEH, LOGOS, was described or was known as JEHUSHUAH(Yeshua in Hebrew, Iesous in Greek, Iesus in Latin or Jesus in English). This description was confirmed by John the Baptist but most importantly by the Father himself, as in:

John 1:15

“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. “

John 1:32,

“Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.”

Matt. 3:17,

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Essentially, through different era, this Creator God was known to people in different descriptive names to express the reason for his name.That is, El Shaddai, meaning the God Almighty since no one known to be mightier than him, omniscient ; Yahweh Elohim meaning the Lord God; I AM, ever present, omniscient; LOGOS, meaning logic, rationale, reason, he says the word and it happens; Yeshuah, (Jesus) meaning to deliver, Savior. Jesus was also called and described as the “Passover” (I Cor. 5:7), the one who made it possible for our “eternal/second death” (read references 3 & 4) to be “passed over”.

Another New Beginning

Identifying who was the Creator of the “invisible and visible” (Col. 1:16) and knowing the descriptive meaning of the names, give us a clue on who is the only one builder, not anyone else, of this “new creation” and what it is to be.

Paul provided the link to this enigma when he described Jesus as, “archegos” and “prodromos”, aka pioneer, predecessor, trailblazer, captain, Author, founder, forerunner”…the start of this new creation (See Heb. 2:10-11;12:2; 6:19-20). Relevant to this, as a son of a carpenter Joseph, Jesus took on after him, a carpenter/tekton in Greek (Mark 6:3;Matthew 13:55). For him to build, he had to “destroy” the temple, i.e., his body would die, (Mk 13:2; John 2:19-22), be resurrected, receive the Holy Spirit from the Father for us, then start from a foundation (John 2:19-21) within humans, the mind. On the night of His arrest, Jesus told His disciples of a future building project of His, “I go and prepare a place for you” (John 14:3), his church (Matthew 16:18) and preparing an eternal dwelling place for the “spirit of man”. This “dwelling place” is the new immortal body that our “spirit of man” will be “clothed” with (5). But, to build this “new spiritual clothing”, Jesus has to begin from a “spirit-component” of man.

As a builder, he is building or creating a “product” (to develop into the “Son of God”) through a mechanism that is the only “way, the truth and the life”. He knows the process, the schematic plan, the truth behind it towards immortal life.

New Creation starts From Template

Therefore, as man-Jesus (not any other Adam) is the beginner, forerunner, pioneer, then what happened to him will also happen to us. The man-Jesus was the first template where this new creation started. Notice, that as a human, flesh-composed, he received the Holy Spirit of power from the Father at river Jordan. This empowered him to overcome Satan. Without this power, he could not have overcome a spirit-composed Lucifer/Satan. Humans are no match to powerful spirit-beings as angelic beings are higher than humans. There was no miracle that Jesus did prior to this empowerment. In fact, a commonly acknowledged “first miracle” that Jesus did was when he made water into wine at a marriage in Cana (John Chapter 2).

After Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit that imbued him directly from the Father, he still struggled, as flesh-composed human, with and overcame temptations of pain and suffering at crucifixion. But, the most future-defining, self-shaking moment was that temptation on the night in the garden of Gethsemane. In luke 22:42, he said,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(New International Version)

For emphasis, realizing how horrifying death was from crucifixion, man-Jesus’ own will was not to die as a Passover for mankind, as in “take this cup pass from me“. Without Jesus “taking the cup” himself and die by crucifixion for mankind, he would not have been resurrected by the Father, nor subsequently gifted with the power of the Holy Spirit to us-ward. The Holy Spirit baptized into him at river Jordan was specifically for him; he had to get that same power for us to be guided by the Father’s wisdom to decide what the better choice is. With the power of the Holy Spirit that guided Jesus, he subjugated his personal will, to the power of the Holy Spirit to guide him with wisdom, chose voluntarily to follow the will of the Father and said, “…not my will, but yours be done.” They are indeed, “one” with each other, as we should also be “one” with the Father.

History shows that subsequently, 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, he was “manifested/declared as Son of God by resurrection from the dead”(Romans 1:4). Indeed, he was manifested, declared or called or named as actualSon of Godonly after resurrection and received the Holy Spirit directly from the Father to be given to us (John 16:7). As before, he was just the prophesied Passover Lamb then became so at death by crucifixion. So was he just the prophesied Son of God until this became a reality, as manifested “by resurrection” into an “immortal spirit-body” capable of showing himself to the disciples with nail-holes in his hands. And, on the day of Pentecost, this Holy Spirit was gifted with openness and grandeur to his disciples and others(Read Acts Chapter 2) with the purpose of creating “many sons and daughters of God” as in:

Heb. 2:10 “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered”

(See Heb 2:6-10 for additional context.)

Jesus is still giving this Holy Spirit of power to those who were called at a particular dispensation to believe and trust in God. As the Holy Spirit empowered and guided Jesus towards truth, be sanctified, and become, after his resurrection, “Son of God” and our elder “brother” (Heb. 2:11), so will all others after him be called “sons and daughters of God”; hopefully, as it is with endurance, perseverance and freewill to follow the “will of God” and to be “one” with him,.

Meanwhile, this Holy Spirit has to “dwell in the temple not made by hands”(Acts 17:24;49-53). It has to reside specifically in the “spirit-of-man”(mind), the only component of Man not coming from “ground” and not a product of or “made by hands” but directly breathed into flesh-composed man by a spirit-composed YAHWEH. This “spirit-of-man” is where the Holy Spirit will dwell and is equivalent to and a reflection of the “holy of holies” in the Jerusalem temple.

Israel was given the law through Moses but was not able to follow because, on their own, they are weak as the apostles were “weak” being flesh-composed as evidenced in Matt. 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-4. The Law was “written in tables of stone” (Exodus 31:18; 2Cor 3:3) much like written on our hardened-blind-deaf heart. This time, the Holy Spirit will dwell in the “fleshly tables of our heart and mind” to write, remind, guide us to the right choice of good, not evil. This sanctification (1 Cor 1:30 ) by the Spirit ( 2 Thess 2:13 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ) and in the name of Christ ( 1 Cor 6:11 )by the Holy Spirit will take us to grow spiritually from a child drinking “milk” to an adult eating “solid food” (I Cor. 3:2), and to develop wisdom. Along the way, we will still face hardships and suffering, like but not the same as Jesus went through. And , those who “endure/persevere/overcome through the end” (Matt. 24:13) will receive a “new cloth” of immortality (Rev. 2:7,10) after resurrection and be “children of the God-kingdom”, all spirit-composed.

Summary

What was created in Genesis was a human template, the first Adam. This was a flesh-composed body directly coming from the “ground” (” made by hands“) and the “spirit of man “ that was breathed into him by a spirit-composed YAHWEH. It is a “temple” for the Holy Spirit of power to dwell as a template to build the God-Kingdom composed of spirit-beings. This “place to reside in” is reflected in the “holy of holies” of the Temple in Jerusalem. That place in our human body is specifically the “spirit of man” where the Holy Spirit of God will bind, fuse, “fertilize” to guide it towards wisdom. The spirit component of man will be where the Spirit of God will dwell to teach/guide, convert it from “tables of stone” to “fleshly tables” where “spiritual laws” will be written for guidance and sanctification. This is how the “mind/spirit of man” will be changed by the Holy Spirit of power. Then, after resurrection as spirit-composed beings, we will be in Christ, as in:

2Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

But, it was not the first Adam where this new creation will start as he came from the “ground”below. Instead, it has to start with the “second/last/final Adam” (I Cor.15:45) who came from “above” as “Yahweh Incarnate”. This anthropos/man-Jesus is the precursor, trailblazer, pioneer, precursor, captain towards the attainment of this “new creation”. No other human can start being a “temple” for the Holy Spirit.

This was why the Creator Yahweh in Genesis forbade the first Adam to “eat the fruit wherein lies knowledge of good and evil”.” (Gen. 2:16-17;3:5).

It was not for him to start becoming “like God knowing good and evil” (Gen3:5), the wisdom to differentiate good from evil” which was reserved for the “last Adam” and subsequently to others. Moreover, it takes the indwelling into the “spirit-of-man” and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to bring this to fruition through sanctification, perseverance and a life of overcoming evil.

This is the good news, the gospel of the coming God-kingdom, that is predicated on YAHWEH incarnating into man-Jesus, in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in him, a life of being “one” with the Father, dying as s Passover Lamb, resurrecting as “Son of God”, receiving directly the promised gift of the Holy Spirit(Comforter) from the Father, then giving the same power to those who are “called” in this dispensation for their individual sanctification. Those who “endure and overcome” through the end will receive a “new cloth of immortality” towards life-eternal, all “sons and daughters” of God-kingdom, the “spirit-composed children of God“…the “body of Christ”.

May God bless us all.

References:

1. What is God? Retrieved 6/24/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

2. Father’s Day. Retrieved 6/24/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/

3. Salvation, Series 1. Retrieved 6/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

4. Death, what is ? Retrieved 6/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

5.What does “naked” mean and why were Adam & Eve “afraid” and “ashamed”? Retrieved 6/30/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/04/11/what-does-naked-mean-and-why-were-adam-eve-afraid-and-ashamed/

Original post: June 30, 2018

What is the Kingdom of God?

What is the Kingdom of God?

Basic Christian doctrine teaches that the “kingdom of God” is not of this world, it is still future when Jesus returns, it is a kingdom where God rules.

But, to a student of Botany and Zoology, one is taught about the plant kingdom and animal kingdom. Consider therefore that when God created living things, he created angelic-kingdom, plant-kingdom, and animal-kingdom.

But, when it came to “man“, he started in Genesis with “an image of him and after his likeness”(Gen. 1:26). Adam was composed of matter (dust of the ground) and “breath of life“(spirit of man) and was created perfectly but “weak”(Matt. 26:40-43). There was a missing component that man needed that Jesus had to die and go back to the Father to get this gift to in-dwell in us (John 16:7;14:16-26). The Holy Spirit is key to finishing the work the “Potter” has planned for man (Jer. 18:1-6).

While God started with a human in the garden of Eden, he was not creating a “kingdom of humans” or merely after an “image/ likeness” of him, not just “dust of the ground” (body). In fact, the dust-body will rot and we will be replaced with another but at that time an “spirit-composed body“, eternal and immortal.

Instead, God was creating a kingdom composed of “spirit beings like him“, a “Kingdom of God” above angelic kingdom. The kingdom of God is more than just a “government of God” and a place. It is a “new creation” (II Cor. 5:16-17) composed of immortal spirit-beings higher than angelic beings (Heb. 2:5) and unique to one another, yet “one” with the Son and the Father, all in the “God-Kingdom“, with the Father above all and the Son, our Elder Brother (For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb 2:11).

Original post: July 20, 2015