This page was last updated on 08/08/08.
Two Principle Trees
Trees! How beautiful, majestic and magnificent they are to look at and enjoy. Although we understand that all the things that we can see with our natural eye are only temporary, they are still beautiful to admire. It seems that the world, and especially Christendom, has gotten things so perverted and distorted that the general teaching today is that the things we can see, feel, taste, hear and smell are real, thereby upgrading the things of the natural, while denying the reality of the spiritual realm. Therefore, not only trees, but also everything else we see is more real to a large number of Christians than the reality of the spiritual realm. This knowledge which originates from a humanistic perspective must be changed. We must allow Holy Spirit to remove the man-made concepts of how Father has done and is doing things now. Once again, we must return to the book of beginnings.
I realize that Elohim spoke everything into existence in the realm of spirit because God is Spirit. As I stated in previous Life Notes, if we would have been there, we would not have been able to “see” anything with our physical senses. The physical senses do not and cannot connect with spiritual things. A careful reading of Genesis chapter two will reveal that Yahweh Elohim (Jesus) formed man from the dust of the earth. To quote Gen 2:7 (kjv) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. In truth, he was formed from the minute particles of the totality of all that God is. After He placed the man in the garden, He caused things to grow out of the ground. For this particular article we are specifically interested in the two trees mentioned in Genesis 2:9 – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Remember, ALL things are created by Him and for Him; therefore He is in all things. No, I am not saying that I should worship a rock because God is within it. Everything that was created has a unique place in God’s plan and in some way shows a particular facet of the character of God. I don’t think that Father would have created the things He did if they were not all necessary to fulfill His plan and we can be certain there is a definite plan in progress that will be finalized in His timing. Also, please bear in mind that no one has ever discovered the location or remnants of the Garden of Eden, the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When one takes the time to search through the scriptures the discovery will be made that there are several different personal attributes identified as trees. For instance: righteousness; wisdom; desire, life and a wholesome tongue, to name a few. Therefore it is relatively simple to interpret from the biblical analogies given that although both the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life were possibly visible and could be touched, there must have also been a corresponding parallel spiritual dimension concerning them that was more real than the physical. They must have been accessible from the spiritual realm. This engenders the question – what was and is the trees of life and the knowledge of good and evil?
The Tree of Life
In John 17 we read about acquiring an eternal life through coming to know the Christ. The word translated as eternal actually means a period of time that has no definite duration or ending, an age. In light of the fact that Christ only spoke using parables, because that is what Father did, we should be able to understand that the “tree of life” is really a relationship with the Christ within each of us. Though this explanation is rather short, I feel it is very accurate. We must each allow Him, the Christ within us, the tree of life, to have complete rule. All one has to do is ascertain if they are living under control of the Christ by examining the fruit of their lives. We can read Galatians chapter five to compare carnal versus Spiritual living. The spirit referred to in verse twenty-two is actually our spirit that has been empowered by Holy Spirit. As I have stated in previous Life Notes, this relational difficulty appears to be rooted in our truly believing that Christ is already resident within the heart. Our natural minds have been saturated with the thought that God and Jesus are off somewhere in a place called Heaven and admittedly, that is a very difficult concept to overcome with truth that diametrically opposes it. Ask almost anyone who claims to have been born again and they will tell you that Christ lives within their heart. If He is already here within the heart, why should we be looking for Him to return to take us to Father? After all, if the Christ is already here, then so also Father and Holy Spirit (see Deut 6:4). In this light, I would like to offer a quote by S. Golden -- You can’t anymore become what you already are than you can come back from where you have never been.
The four cherubim that were to guard access to the Tree of Life with flaming swords are symbolical. The flaming sword is to keep one from the deep things of God until their mind has been dealt with. The fire of God must be applied to our carnal thinking. Interestingly, the Greek word for “fire” is pur, where we get the root for purge and purify. Recall also, that cherubim were embroidered into the curtain of the tabernacle that separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. Doesn’t it seem likely that if Father really wanted to keep us from the Mercy Seat, that He wouldn’t have used a cloth curtain, but rather something more substantial that could not be moved aside? I feel fairly certain that the Hebrews related the presence of the cherubim in the curtain back to the garden. After all, the stories were passed verbally from generation to generation and it really had not been all that many years.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Please allow me to begin with the premise that evil can be defined as the absence of God, or any of His characteristics, in the doing or accomplishing of anything. I would offer the following analogies: Cold doesn’t exist. What we define as cold, is really an absence of heat. Absolute zero is when there is absolutely no heat, but cold does not really exist. We have only created the term to describe how we feel when there is no heat; Darkness does not exist. Darkness is really only the absence of light. Darkness is only a term man has developed to describe what happens when there is no light present; Evil does not exist as a reality. As noted above, it is simply the absence of God. Evil is the term that man has developed to describe the absence of God. It isn’t like truth or love, which exist as virtues like heat or light. Evil is simply the state where God is not present, like cold without heat or darkness without light. Perhaps we would be well served to examine all our actions in the light of the presence or absence of the characteristics of God.
Having said that, is there any logical conclusion to be drawn concerning the past and present location of the tree of what the knowledge of good and evil was or is? I feel that there is. Recall the scripture saying that “man became a living soul?” That appears to be saying, at least to me, that initially, man was a spiritual being and not a soul (mind, will and emotion) being. When the female portion of the man was extracted, it was understood that she represented the soul of man. We all are aware that the soul can and does operate independently of the spirit, and is quite capable of making decisions on its own. I can’t speak for you, but I can recall many times I’ve had a “conversation” within myself before making decisions. The old-timers used to call it “cogitating.” It seems to me that there is really no stretch of the imagination (image-nation) to picture Eve having a conversation within her self prior to disobeying the Creator. I contend that had she been having an audible conversation, Adam would certainly have been privy to it. However, according to the scriptures, he took no action preventing Eve from doing “her thing” and, it seems to me, Adam was unaware of the pending activity.
So what is the most plausible conclusion? It appears to me that the thing we call “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” actually resides within each one of us and is really nothing more than our own thoughts and desires manifesting themselves through our physical bodies. How else could one decide to do something that either manifested the presence or the absence of God? If necessary, re-read the explanation of evil presented earlier in this article. Perhaps the religious system has attempted to make understanding the tree of life and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil more of a theological presentation than one that could be used practically by all believers. Our Father, the Creator of ALL does not have, in my opinion, any desire to make himself or his ways difficult to understand. Some people have gotten so religious as to even change their speech patterns whenever they either speak to God or about him. If it were not the truth, it would be laughable.
Remember, scripture tells us to go to the Father as a little child. That to me infers going without any guile or hidden motives. Just “be” and allow God to do whatever He wants in order to bring about the necessary changes to allow us to become more like Him. That is His ultimate goal for every one of us. As you know, all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to purpose.
This article is not intended as an academic argument but simply a sharing of what the Spirit has shown and blessed me with and the author is solely responsible for its content..
Thoughts from Barbara
This time of the year brings about a lot of changes in our world. Grass stops growing, the leaves change color and fall, summer flowers die and new ones spring forth. The animals grow new coats, the birds fly south and even the winds change direction. The sun, moon and stars even change their positions. It is strange but I never see or hear a great tumult or disturbance when it’s time for them to go through their change! How different we humans are. We should be going through different “seasons” of our lives also! If we are not we are not growing and will eventually die, spiritually and physically. We really don’t have a choice, just like the trees, flowers, animals and birds, God has made the choice for us. He has predestined (predetermined) us to become His sons through the work of the cross. (Eph 1:4-7 NKJV)
Why do we fight change so hard? We all love tradition, that’s why. We get comfortable and snuggle down in our traditional beds we’ve “always” known and there we want to stay. We don’t want our favorite “season” to pass. All is well and so let’s not “rock the boat.” After all, this has worked and we have been blessed for thirty years so why change?
God has other ideas. He allows for us to settle for a while in our “favorite” season but soon He is ready for the next season in our life. He knows change brings growth. He allows adversity but compensates for all the hurts with blessings that overflow! We can see in both the old and new covenants, changes that hurt but were redemptive to each one who surrendered to the changes. It brought trust and strength.
We need to know God’s personality has both positive and negative characteristics. It is all in His plan to show us good and evil and it is all redemptive. We wouldn’t know there was light if there never was dark, etc.. I don’t like the evil any better than you but I try to remember Jesus in the garden. He could have chosen to fight God but He looked beyond the cross and saw the glory that was to be His. I have learned, by putting away traditions and setting aside man-made teachings and opinions that He will teach me by Holy Spirit and bring back to remembrance anything I need from the other teachings.
You ask if I’m not afraid of getting into deception? No, not any more. I read where if I seek Him I will find Him. I believe that! I believe He is speaking outside of the printed word but not outside of His character. If I keep my mind on Him then He will keep me in perfect peace. In other words, I have learned to trust Him at His word. This is what I believe is for everyone as well. He doesn’t prefer me above anyone else who wants to go from season to season. What ever your favorite season is the next one will be better, I promise because He promises. Don’t be afraid of changes, spiritual or physical. More understanding, more faith and more strength are ours as we move on with God.
Anticipating the next move,
2Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.