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 Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil put by God in the midst of the garden of Eden, together with the Tree of Life…but

Gen. 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

This certainly gave Adam/Eve a choice: to have eternal life by eating the fruit of the “tree of life” or die by eating the fruit of “tree of knowledge of good and evil. And, they acted on their personal choice having “free will” to do so. 

Notice that Adam & Eve chose and preferred to “be like him”, the Creator, with knowledge of “good and evil”, instead of “immortality” like the angels by eating the fruit of the “tree of life”. They chose and preferred wisdom over immortality. But, while their choice of “being like him” and risking eternal “second death” was correct, their method of achieving that goal by disobeying God was wrong and sinful. What was wrong with what they did was not so much as their choice of having wisdom over immortality since God wanted us to know “good and evil” by the Ten Commandments through the aegis of the Holy Spirit. Their mistake was their method to achieve that goal to “be like him” on their “own works”, i.e. by themselves “eating the fruit”. But, let us backtrack so that we can fully understand what happened in the “garden of Eden”. 


Jesus “was slain from the foundation” (Rev. 13:8), even way before the garden of Eden and certainly before the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God is omniscient and knew that, when given a choice to “die or be like him”(the Creator YHVH ELOHIM), Adam/Eve would choose the latter, even at the risk of “eternal death”. This was not a test on Adam, as God also knew that, while man was made “perfect and good”, he was “flesh”, “weak”.(Matt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38) and would choose the wrong path. This was well-planned from the beginning and executed perfectly.


But, God wanted to be on record, through the narrative in Genesis, that to “be like him” would not be through the “works of Adam”. It would not be through man “reaching out and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree”. Adam/Eve did not know the way to be “like him”, and subsequently sinned against God. God was giving an indication that the way was not through “man-Adam” but through “another man”, man-Jesus . This is the essence of the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.


To be like YHVH ELOHIM, would be by “grace through faith” of this specific Creator in Genesis, the Logos in John 1, the same one that incarnated into man-Jesus. The “faith of Jesus” in whom? In the Father, that what He promised, He would fulfill. What was this covenantal promise of the Father to the Son? 


It is a continuum of these promises:

That if this YHVH ELOHIM CREATOR, the LOGOS would “strip himself of or give up his divine privileges”(Phil. 2:5-11), thus incarnate and die, then his death would be reckoned as payment in full for the sins of mankind to be reconciled to the Father. Having thus reconciled by Jesus’ death, the Father would then resurrect him, “in a twinkling of an eye” as an immortal body, “firstborn from the dead” (Col.1:18) as “Son of God”, the first of “firstfruits”, the “wavesheaf offering. We will then be saved by his life (Rom. 5:10) and the Holy Spirit would be sent (Jn 16:7). This HS would then “in-dwell” in us, the temple not made by hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24), so God the Potter can re-do what is best for us, the “marred clay” (Jer. 18:4). This promise of the Holy Spirit in us will seal, guide, teach, help us overcome temptation and direct us to develop the “wisdom” of God, the “mind of Christ” 


Therefore, let us not “grieve” but instead follow willingly this Holy Spirit in us, as man-Jesus did (Lu.22:42) to express the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). While our faith in God and our good works are important, what matters most and ultimately the only ones that God recognized by grace were the “faith of Jesus and the works of the Holy Spirit”.


With the Spirit in us, this promise will be fulfilled: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, (immortal bodies) which is in the midst of the paradise of God”( Rev. 2:7). Overcoming is with using the “tool of power” coming from the Holy Spirit in us, and therefore not entirely “our” works but the ” fruits of the HS” given by grace through the faith of Jesus, the “righteousness” that matters. God the Father wanted us from the beginning to have “first”, the wisdom and mind of Christ, and then change from mortal to immortal ” in a twinkling of an eye” to live eternally(immortality) but only through His strategic plan. 


This is the ” kingdom of God” made up of spirit beings in the likeness of Jesus, the Son of God, the Head of the Church and Body of Christ, “one” with him and by extension “one” with the Father.