Part 3: The Two Trees
The Tree of Grace
Day Six, a few minutes before Sundown
Eden functions just like Heaven, except that it is made of these new Elements composed of Breath. It functions the same in that all that lives in it are interdependent, to a degree only God could have conceived. Just like the Body of Heaven.
Sure, if harm were to come to some species, most other life would be able to continue, just as our Body still lives and functions even with our brothers incapacitated. But it would be crippled, just as the loss of a limb, or organ, in a particular physical body, would reduce its full potential; and like our Body has been crippled, by comparison with its potential.
That’s just like God, to create a system whose very structure encourages, if not requires for its very existence, Love.
And that is how two wonderful trees interact with one another to sustain the humans of the future – although they are not designed to be used by humans quite yet.
One Tree offers Eternal Life, and the other Order, to the spiritual “body” into which humans are designed to grow. Their respective functions are like the heart and brain of a physical body. As the heart propels life-giving blood to every cell, while the brain coordinates the entire body so it may move with one purpose: even so one Tree offers life, and the other Tree offers to unite Adam and Wo-man and all their descendants into a single – well, I’m still not sure exactly what God means by this word, but a single “Bride”.
VerseScout: Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know 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:
The Tree of Grace offers wisdom to humans. The same wisdom by which God made the worlds.
VerseScout: Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, … 16 Length of days is in her right hand;…18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: … 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Verse 16 even attributes “length of days” to this “Wisdom”, just as Genesis 3:22 says the Tree of Life in Eden had the capacity to make men “live for ever”.
Wisdom of course is not some mere capacity of a human brain. It is a connection with God. It is an aspect of God. It is God reaching down to hand man not “just” Infinite Life, but Infinity.
That is, that Wisdom by which God made the worlds, is God. God Himself. Wisdom is not merely information to be learned, but a Person to be Found and Known.
VerseScout: Hebrews 1:1 God, …2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, …by whom also he made the worlds;
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. …14 And the Word was made flesh….
VerseScout Relevance Report: Proverbs 3:13-19 records the offer of a Person named Wisdom who offers every good thing, and Who founded the Earth – the description which Hebrews 1:1-5 and John 1:1-4 gives to Jesus.
Although God gave Adam and Wo-men life from the first Breath of Life He breathed into them, the Tree of Grace is more than mere physical existence. Without God, our fallen brothers can still exist, and “live” in that sense, but they are like a branch broken from a tree which still exists but which no longer grows or interacts with the tree.
VerseScout: John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. …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. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: …
Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Jesus is even called a Tree! He is called the Vine, of which we are the branches, John 15:1-8; and also the olive tree, into whose root we branches are grafted in, Romans 11:17-18. Perhaps the Tree of Life of Genesis and Revelation are the same Tree, Jesus, into which we are invited to be grafted in as branches.
Of all creation, the Tree of Grace was the most costly to God! For this Tree has, for its fruit, the very living Flesh of God, containing the very Blood of God!
VerseScout: John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 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. 53 …Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (See also verses 40-58.)
Revelation 2:7 …To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. …14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,
VerseScout Relevance Report: Jesus’ flesh is given for our Eternal Life-giving food, John 6:40-58, just like the fruit of a tree, John 15:1-4, and Jesus is the source of our Life, John 1:1-4.
The Greek word for “drink” in John 6:53, according to Thayer, is “figuratively, to receive into the soul what serves to refresh, strengthen, nourish it unto life eternal.” We must “receive…grace” (Romans 5:17, 2 Corinthians 6:1) offered by His Blood for “forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). Without Jesus’ spiritual “blood” nourishing our souls, our souls are as dead as physical bodies without physical blood.
We can’t imagine how alike, physically, the Tree of Life, and the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ, may be. But these Scriptures show that they both offer the same life-giving, sin-covering properties. If they offer the same Gift, and we know one of them cost God dearly, how could the other not be as costly? They behave as two analogies of the same reality. Genesis 3:22 describes a physical “Tree of Life” offering the same Eternal Life which Jesus offers.
To be more specific, the flesh and blood were the flesh and blood of the Word of God, the Physical Manifestation of God.
VerseScout: John 1:14 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.
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.
VerseScout Relevance Report: There is only one way the Tree of Life can be a way to Eternal Life while at the same time Jesus is the only way: and that is for Jesus, and the Tree of Life, to be one.
Further circumstantial support for this presumption is the similarity between Jesus’ 12 apostles and the Tree’s 12 fruits, and the fact Jesus spent much time in a particular Garden. Adam sinned and was taken out of the Garden. Jesus was taken out of the Garden for our sins.
In Revelation 2:7, only those who prove themselves will be allowed access to the Tree of Life, the converse of when Adam and Eve were denied access after they failed to prove themselves.
Proverbs 3 likewise compares access to Wisdom with the acquisition of treasures, which requires people to “prove themselves” through work and commitment.
“The fruit of the righteous”, “desires fulfilled”, and “a wholesome tongue” are called “a tree of life” later in Proverbs 11:30, 13:12, and 15:4. In these verses, the phrase seems to describe a little taste available, of The Tree, in a fallen world.
Neither of the Two Trees is ready to be eaten. God revealed the location of the other Tree to Adam and Wo-man but told them not to eat its fruit now.
God is very serious about desiring that Adam and Wo-man trust and obey Him, because God wants wonderful things for them – all the power in the universe, which God created just for them – but without trusting and obeying God, any power at all would be harnessed only to destroy.
Such is the offer of the Two Trees.
It is not only trust and obedience that must be firm before handing over the keys to such power: it is discipline. Discipline must be a habit like walking and breathing. Without discipline, the best intentions, at the steering wheel of such power, must destroy.
VerseScout: Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
VerseScout Relevance Report: Mark 11:23 is a glimpse of the enormous power God offers us. Hebrews 10:26-27 is a warning of the judgment that follows misuse of it. Luke 12:47-48 explains the mercy of not giving too much information, or power, to people apt to misuse it.
The Tree of Life was available to Adam before he sinned, though he could only find it by walking with God. After he turned from God, the Tree became unavailable for the rest of Adam’s physical life. Revelation 2:7 says it will again be available after our physical life, if we walk with God during our physical life.
The limits God placed, on the availability of the Tree of Life to man, illustrate the limits of God’s patience with man, or of the limits of God’s mercy for our sins, or of the limits on Jesus’ shed blood to wash away sins. They are an outline whose details are filled in with Scriptures about Blood, Hardness of Heart, the Unforgivable Sin, etc. God’s many wonderful promises are thus locked away behind the door named Bible Reading.
There can be no lovelier route to the Trees. It begins amidst the Flowers of Love with the creation of Eve. When we saw her, we stopped worrying about any human soul ever even thinking about choosing to leave Heaven! Wo-man’s beauty, her grace, her kindness, her intelligence were enough to dazzle Adam for as long as time could possibly last!
There is no possible way Adam could ever stop thanking God for such a blessing! No way Adam could stop trusting God, who had given such a blessing, to always want the best for Adam! No way, therefore, that Adam could ever stop obeying God’s advice about how to keep such a blessing!
Next the route leads through the Fields of Faith with God’s request that Adam trust His warning about the other tree. What a simple command! With Wo-man to keep him fully satisfied, what could possibly tempt him to disobey?!
The Valley of Decision is where man may reach up to accept what God brings down. When God designed robots, He called them animals. God made man a reflection of Himself, with the power to choose and create. What more could man possibly want than God offers?
Over the Valley of Decision towers the other Tree.
Then finally, on the other side, there it is, the Tree of Grace, by the Rivers of Living Water.
Chapter Fourteen: The Seven Conditions of Grace