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The Tree of Life

 The Tree of Life

In Genesis 3 two trees are described.  The first tree was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and it was forbidden to the man and woman. 

This tree was symbolic of deciding right and wrong for ourselves and the command  forbidding eating from this tree was a test command to see if the man and woman would obey God or decide right and wrong for themselves.  For a study into this Tree see the Genesis 3 article at this link. 

Disobeying God in eating from this tree [or in anything else]  represents and consists of deciding for ourselves what us right and wrong instead of living by every Word of God; and the ultimate fruits of this tree is death.  

To decide for ourselves to act and live contrary to what God has commanded, is to exalt ourselves above the Word of God and the end of this decision is death.  Therefore this tree could also be called the Tree of Death.

 

The Tree of Life

A second tree, the Tree of Life, was the exact opposite of this symbolic tree of death.  The Tree of Life brought LIFE;  just as rejecting obedience to God and taking of the forbidden fruit brought death.

The river of water of life coming out from the throne of God is a picture of the Holy Spirit of life eternal flowing out from God.

Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

The tree of life nourished by the water; as a type of eternal life coming from the Holy Spirit and the keeping of the whole Word of God, bringing forth the tree of life bears the fruits of the Spirit of God.  The leaves which give life to a tree are represented as giving spiritual healing [eternal salvation] to the nations.

22:2 In the midst of the street [growing up out of the river and overspreading to both sides is the tree of eternal life] of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits [figurative of the fruits of the Holy Spirit], and yielded her fruit every month [the trees bore a new kind of fruit each month]: and the leaves of the tree were for the [spiritual] healing of the nations.

There are twelve Fruits of the Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance (Gal 5:22) and there are three other Fruits.  A Sound Mind which is the ability to absorb and retain the nature of God as defined by the whole Word of God (2 Ti 1:7), Wisdom which is explained in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom articles. and  Eternal Life.

22:3 And there shall be no more curse [sin or the decay and death that sin brings]: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

22:4 And they [the people now changed to spirit] shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads [the nature of God will dwell in the minds of all people who are changed to spirit; absolutely no sin allowed].

 

Death

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What is this sin that brings death?

1 John 3:3  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

What is this law which brings long life then?  It is it not the Ten Commandments of God?  and what do the Ten Commandments say?

Exodus 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Who then is our father?  Ultimately our Father is our Creator; first God the Father as the Executive Authority of the creation and then Jesus Christ as the Implementing Authority of the creation.  The one who became Jesus Christ called God in heaven his Father and commanded us to live by every Word of that God the Father. 

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Deciding right and wrong for ourselves as Eve and Adam did when they failed the test in the garden, is sin and brings death.  While diligently living by EVERY WORD of God is life eternal!  

Therefore as the fruit or end result of partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil by rejecting God’s Word for our own ways is death.  Living by EVERY WORD of GOD brings life eternal.

Satan said that man could become God, simply by deciding right and wrong for himself. And while man could be the decider for himself as God decides things; man living by his own ways could not have eternal life!  Only faithful passionate obedience to the way of life that God had and that man outside of God cannot have, can bring eternal life.

Because the man would now decide what was wrong and right for himself, instead of listening to the words of eternal life; the man was rejected from eternal life and the paradise of God. The Creator denied man eternal life as long as man decided for himself what was right and wrong.

As Adam rejected the Word of God to decide for himself; today the Ekklesia reject any zeal to live by every Word of God in order to live by their own ways and false traditions. As Adam was rejected from eternal life and eternity with God; so the unrepentant who have rejected zeal to passionately live by every Word of God, shall also be kept from entering the Promised Land of eternal life.

3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know [to decide for himself] good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

The way into eternal life and the eternal paradise of God has been shut up and closed and man has been cut off from God by the command of God; except for those specifically called out by God the Father as a kind of early first fruits to God. 

Man was cut off from repentance and from turning back to obey God, so that man could learn a lesson through experience, that the way of God is the way of life and that any other way brings death.

This cutting off of mankind from God was essential to prevent the man from repenting and after being changed to spirit with eternal life, sinning again in future.  The whole purpose of cutting man off from God was to allow man to live by his own ways until he had  thoroughly learned that there is no other way to eternal life in peace other than the way of God.  

God cut man off from himself, or rather it was the sins of man that cut man off from God

Isaiah 59:1    Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

When mankind was cut off from the Tree of Life and rejected from the presence of God God’s plan for salvation started up. That plan was for the Implementing Creator Jesus Christ to give up his God-hood and be made flesh and to live a perfect sinless life at the end of which he would give his life as the sacrificial Lamb of God for humanity, so that he could be a DOOR through which man could be reconciled to God the Father. 

We are to live by EVERY WORD of GOD the Father, which is eternal life; but the door to reconciliation to God the Father is our sincere repentance after thoroughly learning that God is the ONLY way to life; a commitment to go and sin no more and to live by every Word of God from henceforth and forever more; and then the Door of Reconciliation which is the sacrifice of the Lamb of God will be applied to us and we shall be reconciled to God our Father in Heaven receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and if we continue and overcome we shall inherit  the gift of eternal life. 

From Adam to the ascension of Christ on Wave Offering Sunday in 31 A.D., mankind was cut off from God except for a very few called out in faith that Christ would fulfill his mission; and from 31 A.D. to today mankind has been cut off from God except that more have also been called out to have faith in the efficacy of that sacrifice and to live by every Word of God; this is the early Spring Harvest to eternal life.  The Fall Festivals picture another harvest, the main of all humanity who has lived through the past being cut off from God and from the tree of Life.

John 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 5:11  And this is the record, that God hath given to us [those faithful to live by every Word of God] eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 5:12  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

The bread of manna was another allegory of the true Bread of Life, Jesus Christ; who came down from heaven to give himself as our Bread of Life, for our salvation.

Salvation is not just saying “I repent” and consenting to being dunked in a pool of water, or attending some organizational meetings, while continuing in sin.

Salvation requires the internalization of the nature of God; through diligent study, and the practical application of the whole Word of God in our own minds and in all our deeds!  It i s essential for us to OVERCOME and to “Go and sin no more,” and for us to live as Christ lived!

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me [and lives as  Christ lives] hath everlasting life.

Jesus Christ being ONE in full unity with God the Father, was sent by the Father as the Bread of Life, for all God the Father would call.

Carefully consider these words given just before Passover and Unleavened Bread.

6:48 I am that bread of life. 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jesus explains what the wine and unleavened bread of Passover and the Feast of ULB mean.

6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

We are to take the nature of Christ into ourselves and we are to live as Christ lived; We are to live by God the Father’s Word as Jesus did!

6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John  17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know [be one with] thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Jesus used the example of a tree, like the example of the Tree of Life [which is to live by EVERY WORD of God] to teach that HE is the way to God the Father and to eternal life.

 

John 15 The Vine and Branches

This is a powerful; explanation of the meaning of the command to cut branches and bring them into the temple at the Feast of Tabernacles.  Bringing in the branches with great rejoicing represents bringing in of the harvest of humanity into the Family of God. 

Jesus teaches that he is the vine [or trunk] of the tree of life; and that the called out to him are the branches. As a branch receives its nourishment from the vine and trunk of the tree; so we receive our spiritual nourishment from the Bread of Life, the true VINE; Jesus Christ!

To have eternal life; we MUST be in FULL UNITY with Christ; and if we turn away from any of the teachings of Christ, which teaching is that we must live by every Word of God the Father in the letter and in the spirit and intent of the law; we will be rejected by Christ and by God the Father, because we have already rejected their Word.

If we remain faithfully loyal to Jesus Christ and God the Father by diligently studying and zealously KEEPING and living by every Word of God; we will still be tried, tested and given experiences bad and good, to increase our spiritual growth and development into FULL UNITY with Christ.

John 15:1 I am the true vine [trunk of the tree, the Logos the whole Word of God], and my Father is the husbandman. 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit [is NOT faithful and zealous to live by every Word of God as Christ does] he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit [living by EVERY WORD of GOD], he purgeth [trims and trains] it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

If we abide in the Word of God, doing those things that please Christ and God the Father; they will abide in us through the Spirit of God.  If we are NOT zealous to KEEP the Word of God; WE ARE NONE OF HIS!

Remember that, when you are asked by your elder to pollute the Sabbath; take Passover and observe High Days on the wrong dates, or in the wrong ways; or are told that you need not eat Unleavened Bread every day of the Feast as God has commanded. 

Remember what I wrote in Harmonizing the Gospels Concerning the last Passover of Christ  After washing the disciple’s feet; they were all clean except one.  That one being the person who did not spiritually abide in Christ the true VINE

15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Beware of false Christ’s who tolerate sin and are not filled with Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God; Because without a firm close FULL UNITY with the true Christ who lives by every Word of God; our religion is vain and meaningless, and falls to the status of a human social club.

15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit [because of the Holy Spirit flowing from Christ the trunk of the tree, through the branches]: for without me ye can do nothing.

To be grafted into the true vine of Christ; we MUST be called by God the Father; we must believe, repent and be baptized for the remission of sins to be granted; And IF we remain abiding in God; with him dwelling us; IF we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead into all truth diligently living by every Word of God, then we shall bear much fruit!

15:6 If a man abide not in me [living in Christ-like zeal to live by EVERY WORD of GOD], he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Those who compromise with any part of the whole Word of God, which Christ loves because he IS the Logos then Word; and who tolerate sin, which Christ hates; will be rejected and cast into the furnace of affliction; and if they still do not repent, cast into the fire of ultimate destruction.

15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

“Continue in my love” means that Christ wants our loving relationship with HIM to continue, through our learning and keeping the Word that he preached; which is to do God the Father’s will and to live by every Word of God.

Watch Out!  Many will teach to keep the commandments, but by commandments they mean their own false traditions and not every Word of God.

15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

What did Christ command us?  He kept the whole Word of God fully and we are to do likewise, living as he lived and as he will live in us.

A natural tree has a trunk representing Jesus Christ and branches representing the faithful who are in Christ.  It would also have leaves which turn the light of the sun into energy giving strength and life to the whole tree.  The leaves would therefore represent the Holy Spirit which takes in the LIGHT [every Word of God] of God and turns it into spiritual energy, pouring spiritual health and life through the branches and producing the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street [growing up out of the river and overspreading to both sides is the tree of eternal life] of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits [figurative of the fruits of the Holy Spirit], and yielded her fruit every month [the trees bore a new kind of fruit each month]: and the leaves of the tree were for the [spiritual] healing of the nations.

Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to his beloved Father, and he will live a life of perfect obedience to God the Father dwelling in us!

Matthew 19:17 . . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments

John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

We are to be willing to lay down our lives for God the Father and Jesus Christ; as Christ laid down his life for us!  Our HEAD is Jesus Christ and His Head is God the Father! How long will we squabble over who gets to lead; and over who gets what?

1 Corinthians 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

And our spiritual mother is not some corporate entity, but is the Holy Jerusalem of God the Father from which the Word of God goes forth to the entire universe!

Galatians 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free [from bondage to sin], which is the mother of us all.

As the Word of God on this earth will go forth from Jerusalem, so the Word of God the Father goes forth to the entire universe from the heavenly Jerusalem above. 

Isaiah 2:3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

 As God is our Father; the spiritual Jerusalem above is our mother, teaching us the wisdom and Word of God the Father. 

How can a city be our mother? The heavenly Jerusalem is the city of God, from which the Word of God comes forth; and is a type of the faithful called out who live by every Word of God, who set a godly example; and who TEACH and NOURISH the brethren in godliness like a mother nourishes her child. 

The mother of us all is not any corporate organization, but consists of those who are truly filled with the Holy Spirit and live by EVERY WORD of God; teaching all humanity to do likewise. 

This idea that some corporate church is the mother of the faithful and must be obeyed in place of the Word of God is a lie; the mother of the faithful is the faithful spiritual teacher who is living by every Word of God, while fulfilling the role of mothering by nourishing the brethren in the whole Word of God. 

Is the woman who teaches her child to commit fornication, when the father has taught not to commit fornication, a fit mother? 

Absolutely NOT!  and a corporate “church” which teaches us to live contrary to any part God’s Word is NOT a fit spiritual mother!

A mother nourishes and brings up her children according to the word of their father, and spiritually speaking, the mother of the faithful consists of those who nourish the brethren in EVERY WORD of GOD the Father!

 Proverbs 1:8  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

How has the love of God disappeared from us? where has our zeal to live by every Word of God gone?   Where is our unity with the Word of God and with God our Father?

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Our prayers are answered in direct proportion to our diligent keeping of the whole Word of God!

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

All God’s people, all the called of God the Father; are to be filled with the love of God.

Love for God our Father is to live by every Word of God, which Word is Jesus Christ.  What is love? God is love; and the KEEPING of the Word of God is love.

HOW do we love?  By internalizing Jesus Christ and God the Father, through following the example of Jesus Christ, and sincere repentance from acting contrary to the Word of God; and a diligent, passionate, enthusiastic Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God.

It is then that we shall be united with God the Father and Jesus Christ through a zeal to live by their Word, as they are of ONE mind with each other! It is then that we shall be called “the friends of God”; like our spiritual father, Abraham!

15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

The law in its full purpose, spirit and intent; defines the love of God!

If we keep the whole Word of God in all its spirit, purpose and intent, we become like God; we become fully united with Jesus Christ and God the Father.

IF we loved God, we would DO what God’s Word  says, we would do those things which are pleasing in his sight.  Like little children we would want to become LIKE our Father!

Falling into the lukewarmness of Laodicea, is to become offensive and disgusting to Christ; who will spew us out of his body, like a dead branch cut off from a vine.

 

Godly Love

The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. The essence of agape love is giving one’s self fully to God first and then acting in the best interests of others even the undeserving. Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of personal will to strive to be like and please God at any personal cost. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Agape is used to describe the love that is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. Agape is used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27) and a faithful servant’s love for his master (Matthew 6:24) as a type of our love for God.

The type of love that characterizes God is not an evangelical sappy, sentimental feeling of belonging to some group. God loves not because we deserve to be loved or because of any excellence we possess, but because it is His nature to love and He must be true to His nature.

Agape love is always shown by what it does, not by how we feel. God’s demonstration of agape love led to the sacrifice of the Son of God for those He loves, and we demonstrate agape love by living by every Word of God.

We are to love others with agape love, whether they are fellow believers (John 13:34) or bitter enemies (Matthew 5:44). Agape love as modeled by Christ is not based on feelings; rather, it is a determined act of the will to live by every Word of God above our own will and to treat God and others as God does.

 

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