Someone has said, “If you can’t understand something, go back to the beginning, and you will start receiving revelation and finding answers.”
There Were Two Trees In the Garden
Our beginning was The Garden of Eden, where there were lots of trees, but only two of them were special enough to be named:
(1) The Tree of Life, which was free and available,
(2) The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was forbidden.
Soon after he ate, Adam feared God, with whom he had been in constant fellowship before, because he discovered he was naked. He immediately assumed that the problem was him ” his flesh ” his humanity.
The Lord asked him why he was fearful and hiding. He said it was because he was naked. Ask yourself: wasn’t he naked yesterday too? Sure he was. So what was the difference? The difference was Adam’s perception of who he was. Yesterday he saw himself through God’s eyes: he was the image of God. Today he saw himself through his own human eyes, and he saw he was naked.
Yesterday he saw what was right about him. Tree of Life Today he saw what was wrong about him. They approached the forbidden tree believing the lie of Satan, and they had a self-focused, narcissistic attitude: “I shall be…” (Gen 3:5). Yesterday their mindset was humility, today it was pride.
For 4,000 years man lived by The Tree of Knowledge. The law was later given to Moses, and it defined The Tree of Knowledge in every way ” it defined everything that was good, and everything that was bad. Before the law was given, man was allowed to decide between what was good and bad ” right and wrong. But this only led to a tremendous increase in sin, and sin focus. The last verse in Judges defines the thinking of man: “Everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes.”
The law was then established to define sin, and it defined it ad-infinitum. And Paul said the result was, “No one is righteous ” no not one.”
We Are No Different Today
The fact is that today, we do exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden. We eat from (or today we might say that we consult) The Tree of Knowledge of Good vs. Bad in everything we do. Especially Christians live by an almost constant stream of thoughts about what is good or bad, or right or wrong. We live under thoughts of reward and punishment, and even the judgment of God.
Today we approach God with the same attitude Adam and Eve did. When we eat and live life by the wrong perception and false belief of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, we think everything has to do with us. We may not be naked, but we think our flesh is our problem.
God does not mean for us to live this way. The Tree of Knowledge was forbidden for mankind to eat from in the Garden, and it is still forbidden today. I can’t prove it in scripture, but I suspect that the ‘tree’ Jesus was crucified on, mentioned in Galatians 3, was The Tree of Knowledge. Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life. The Tree of Life was made forbidden to mankind after the fall of man, when Adam and Eve left the Garden. But I believe it was re-instituted at the cross of Jesus.
The Tree of Knowledge and the Old Covenant
The Tree of Knowledge represents the Old Testament, and the old covenant of God. But the Tree of Life represents the New Testament, and the better, new covenant we have been given (Heb 11:39-40). The old covenant demanded from us, and could not produce what it demanded. The new covenant gives to us, and produces in us what it does not demand. The two are diametrically opposite.
The old covenant was founded on law that pointed out sin and made everyone guilty before God (Rom 3:19-20). The new covenant is founded