Theophany “a manifestation or appearance of God”
- Biblical examples of Theophany personages
- God walked in the Garden of Eden
- God and two angels came to Abraham
- Jacob wrestled with a man who was the Angel Jehovah
- The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego
- Jesus Christ
- Jesus appears to John
- The donkey who spoke to Balaam
- Solomon’s temple
- The ark was brought into the temple and Shekinah glory (glory of God) filled the temple
- The temple veil
- Aaron and the cloud
- Christ and the veil
- Jesus speaks to Saul from heaven
- The burning bush
- God leads Israel with physical objects (cloud and fire)
- God speaks to King Belshazzar
- Christ, the water of life
- The ark of God
- The tree of life
- The tree of life
- The fiery serpent
- Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus
- How can man eat Christ’s flesh and drink Christ’s blood?
- The body
- The soul
- The spirit
- Christ the rock and source of the living water
- The tree of the knowledge of good and evil
This booklet is written with the intention of showing that after Adam’s disobedience, which brought judgment upon the whole world (Romans 5:18), the Creator did not abandon His creation. From that time forward, He has been revealing Himself to His own. Many other revelations of God have been revealed through the Scriptures. Scriptural authentication is primary and has been proven by Messianic prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament, along with their fulfillment in the NewTestament. Prophecies concerning Israel were also fulfilled in past history and continue to be fulfilled to this present day. Most of the book of Revelation, after chapter 3, reveals what will happen to the nation of Israel.
Another way God has revealed Himself to mankind is through His creation of the heavens and the earth. God stated in Isaiah 45:12, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it. I, my hands, stretched out the heavens, and all the host I have commanded.” Another proof is that God put His laws in the hearts of all men. He also created a conscience in man so that man can hear God’s laws within himself. He has also revealed Himself and His way of redemption for all mankind supernaturally. Therefore, all men can be free from the works of their adamic nature, by having an abiding faith in Jesus Christ.
“a manifestation or appearance of God”
The Creator, coming down to man’s level to relate and talk with Him may seem strange to many people. However,the Scriptures give many such accounts, and these accounts are shown to be supernatural. In the supernatural, anything is possible. A study of Scripture will show that a Theophany can happen in many ways.
This booklet will show God’s supernatural manifestations, primarily through God’s chosen earthly people, the Israelites. Three ways God has chosen to reveal Himself are shown next:
- As a person or persons
- Through divine manifestations
- In or through material objects
As mentioned above, Scripture is filled with Theophanies which reveal God to His people. This booklet will set forth only a few of the occurrences; there are many more. The reader is challenged to find others and hopefully understand God’s purpose in revealing Himself.
The word, Theophany, is described in Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary as “a manifestation or appearance of God.”
1. Biblical examples of Theophany personages God appears to man in human form
A. God walked in the Garden of Eden:
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8).
In these Scriptures God was walking in the Garden of Eden. It is evident that He came down to the level of His creation in human form, for He talked with Adam, Eve, and the devil. The devil was manifested in the form of a serpent (Genesis 3:8-19).
B. God and two angels came to Abram (Abraham):
“Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day”(Genesis 18:1). In God’s appearance to Abraham, He came in human form. This Theophany of God with Abraham was not the first time God had communicated with Abraham, so Abraham immediately recognized Him (Genesis 12:1-3). Abraham’s faith in God is seen to increase in this chapter (Genesis 18:1-33).
C. Jacob wrestled with a man, who was the Angel, Jehovah:
“Then Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day” (Genesis 32:24).
Jacob wrestled with the angel, Jehovah, for one purpose, for God to bless him. Jacob lost the physical encounter, but he won a great spiritual victory. He learned to triumph through defeat and to be strong through weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10). Emptied of self and confidence in his own cleverness, he confessed he was Jacob, a supplanter, “a con man,” (William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary).
Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30). God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and blessed him. This was a life-changing experience for Jacob (Exodus 32:24-32).
D. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife:
“An Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son”(Judges 13:3). The word for “Angel of the Lord” in the Septuagintal International Version is translated “messenger of the Lord”. (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary).
The nation of Israel did evil before the Lord, so the Lord put them under bondage to their enemies, the Philistines. In Israel, a man by the name of Manoah had a wife who was barren (without child). When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife, He told her that she would conceive and bear a son. He then gave instructions for raising her son. Her husband was not there. After hearing his wife tell him of her encounter, Manoah prayed to God: “…Let the Man of God whom you sent come to us again…” The Man came again (Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord).
The man instructed Manoah on raising his son (Samson), and told them to offer a burnt offering to the Lord. Manoah then asked the man His name. The man said His name was”Wonderful.” Wonderful is the name of the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the name of divinity (Isaiah 9:6).
They then offered the young goat on the flame. While Manoah and his wife watched, the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar toward heaven (Judges 13:20). Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God”! (Verse 22). The complete Scriptural account of this Theophany is recorded in Judges 13:1-25.
E. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego:
“Look” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God”(Daniel 3:25 NKJV).
Because the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, servants of God, refused to worship the golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had made, the King had them bound and thrown into a fiery furnace. When Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace, he saw four men. He said “Did we not throw three men bound into the fire?” His servants answered “Yes.” The King said “I see four men in the furnace, and the fourth is like the Son of God”(Daniel 3:24-25). Then he went to the furnace and called the three men out. Their binding was off, they were loose, and there was no sign of smoke from being in the fire. The fourth man, the Son of God, was Jesus Christ (John 10:36) the One who controls all things, even the universe (Isaiah 38:1-9; 44:24-27; 45:12). The complete account recorded in Scripture of the King seeing the Son of God is found in Daniel 3:1-30. This Theophany is known to mankind throughout the world.
2. Jesus Christ
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
“And the Word became 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 1:14).
The Theophany of Jesus Christ is different than other Theophanies. This is because the prophets of God in Israel, over hundreds of years, were shown His appearing before He came, and they wrote of the prophecies that were shown to them.
The following are a few of the prophecies. Jesus, as the Messiah, would be born of a woman, who was a virgin. The Spirit of God would put the seed in the woman (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26-38). Messiah Jesus would come as God in human form (Isaiah 40:9-11; John 10:11,14). A few of His names were given by God before He was born: Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6), Messiah (Daniel 9:25), Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15), Wonderful, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, the Most Holy (Isaiah 9:6) and Immanuel, meaning God with us (Isaiah 7:14). The Messiah, who would come from everlasting, would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (Micah 5:2). Jesus would die on the cross (Psalms 22:1-21). Jesus would be an eternal sacrifice for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:26; 1 John 2:2). Jesus would rise from among the dead (Psalms 16:10; 49:15; 71:20; John 2:19; and Matthew 28:1-10). Jesus would be the eternal priest (Psalms110:4); a king, King David’s son (Isaiah 9:7) and a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15; John 4:19, 25-26). He is to be prophet, priest and king (Zachariah 6:12-13). Jesus Christ is the only man in Israel to hold all three positions of authoritative rule in Israel. His kingship will be practiced in the millennium when He sits on David’s throne.
A. Jesus Appears to John
The Apostle John on the Island of Patmos, 96A.D.: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10).
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke to me, one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters – and when I saw Him I fell at His feet as dead…”(Revelation 1:12-15, 17).
Jesus appeared to the Apostle John who had been exiled by the Roman Emperor Domitian, to Patmos. John was probably the last living apostle. Jesus gave John a revelation of the history of the church, before it happened. This was done by Jesus calling attention to the seven churches that existed at that time. Each church is a revelation of a time period telling what was happening to these churches, and what would happen in the future in the history of the Church. It was history before it took place (Revelation chapters 2-3). This Theophany of Jesus Christ was the revelation of all future events of His Church.We are shown a look into heaven itself (chapters 4-5). We see the tribulation, the great tribulation, the end of time on the earth, the great white throne judgment of all unbelieving people who ever lived on the earth, and the new heaven and the new earth. This revelation gives God’s time period for His Church on this earth.
A. The donkey who spoke to Balaam:
“Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?” (Numbers 22:28).
Balaam was a prophet for hire (prophesy for money). He would have used this gift to destroy God’s people, if God had permitted. The King of Moab asked Balaam to curse Israel, and Balaam would have done this if God had not stopped him. Four times, at the King of Moab’s insistence, Balaam tried to curse Israel, but God put the words of blessing in his mouth instead. While Balaam was going to meet the people of Moab, the Angel of the Lord blocked the donkey’s path.
The donkey saw the Angel, but Balaam did not. In the process of avoiding the Angel, the donkey crushed Balaam’sleg (Numbers 22:25). Balaam was angry and struck the donkey. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth and the donkey spoke to Balaam (verse 28). Then Balaam’s eyes were opened and he saw the Angel of the Lord.
The error of Balaam (Jude 11) was to use the gift God had given him, for his own personal gain. Jesus called this the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), using the gift of God to do evil.
B. Solomon’s temple
a. The ark was brought into the temple and the Shekinah glory (glory of God) filled the temple(2 Chronicles 3:1-2; 5:13-14; 7:1-2). “Indeed, it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: For He is good, for His mercy endures forever, that then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God”(2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
This manifestation of the Spirit of God and His glory filling the temple upon Solomon’s dedication of the temple, revealed God’s approval of the temple.
The temple in Moses’ day was a temporary work by the Israelites so Israel could worship according to the Law of Moses. The temple took the place of the original tabernacle. This temple, built by Solomon, was a type of an eternal temple to come. The Church Jesus Christ would build (Matthew 16:18) would be the anti-type, or fulfillment, of the eternal temple of God. His Spirit would dwell (1 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 2:19-22; Revelation 1:12-20) in the eternal temple of Jesus, the forever Church.
He also indwells everyone who is born of His Spirit (Romans 8:9). His glory is seen by all who believe Him. A Christian’s physical body is the temple of God, created for holiness and is separated unto the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:16). The Spirit of Jesus, living within the believer,opens “the hope of glory” for him (Colossians 1:27). This was the eternal purpose of God’s Spirit and glory coming into Solomon’stemple, just as the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle in Moses’ day (Exodus 40:34-35).
4. The temple veil
The veil of God’s design and placement, separated man from God in the tabernacle, the holy place from the Most Holy place (Exodus 26:33).
A. Aaron and the cloud
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the Lord, and died; and the Lord said to Moses: Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering” (Leviticus 16:1-3).
Those who came out of the loins (his body) of Aaron, the High Priest, were to be High Priests after Aaron died. However, God made it clear to Moses that any male offspring of Aaron’s that was to be a high priest must have no defect of any kind, and must only marry a virgin Israelite in order to enter behind the veil to the Most Holy Place (Leviticus 21:13-24).
The veil, that God had instructed to be placed between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the temple, was to show that nothing short of perfection would be acceptable to Him. The people were to understand that He is a Holy God, without exception. This veil was in place for hundreds of years to separate the Holy God from the people.
B. Christ and the veil
Just before Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He meant that He had come into the world to die for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), and He had done it. At the same time, in the temple, the Spirit of God acted. “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:52).
The meaning of this Theophany of God is that all men now have direct access to God through the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
He was God’s Son, the only person completely acceptable to God. The person who goes to God through Jesus Christ becomes acceptable to
God and in favor with God. The tearing of the veil was a divine Theophany to make a way for all men to come to God, and be received by God. The wall between God and man, caused by sin, no longer exists. Jesus Christ has put away sin once and forever by sacrificing His body. .
“For it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him (Christ) whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless and above reproach in His sight”(Colossians 1:19-23).
This means no matter what defect any person has, through Jesus Christ, God receives all and everyone who by faith comes to Him (John 3:16).
5. Jesus speaks to Saul from heaven
Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, was on a road to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him (Acts 9:5).
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light (brighter than the noonday sun) shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:1-5).
This manifestation of Jesus Christ to Saul, the zealous Pharisee, forever changed his life. He was persecuting and murdering Christians who followed The Way, the gospel of Jesus Christ. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3.4). After this experience he followed every word of Jesus the rest of his life. The Holy Spirit used him to expand the knowledge of God, through the gospel of Jesus Christ. He went into Gentile nations where many people received Christ Jesus, and churches were established throughout the known world. Saul’s name was changed to Paul (Acts 13:9).
The revelation of Christ was made known to the Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:12). These revelations were the foundational truths of Christ that the Church everywhere would be built upon (Ephesians 2:19-22).
A. The burning bush:
Moses was tending the flock (sheep) of Jethro, his father in-law,by the mountain, Horeb (Exodus 3:1).
“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn. So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses!and he said, Here am I. Then He said,Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. Moreover He said, I am the God of your Father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…”(Exodus 3:2-6).
This appearance that God made to Moses from inside a burning bush was to show Moses His divine power..
After God had Moses’ attention, He told him that He had heard the cries of His people, and He was going to deliver Israel out of slavery from the Egyptians. Israel had been in Egypt about 400 years. God told Moses that he was going to be God’s instrument to deliver the Israelites from the Pharaoh. Moses did many signs and wonders of God’s divine power in Egypt to bring about Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 12:29-36).
B. God led Israel with physical objects (cloud and fire):
God appeared in a cloud by day and in a fire by night.
“Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:38).
“So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped” (Numbers 9:16-18).
Israel now was no longer in Egypt. They were on a journey to the land that God had promised to give to Abraham and all of his offspring. At that time the land was called Canaan. Today, it is Israel. Jehovah, God of Israel said, “…I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:3).
God, in leading them to this land, revealed Himself visually as a cloud by day and a fire by night. He was always before them and dwelling with them.
Israel’s God is the Creator of heaven and earth (Isaiah 45:12). He came among them and led them in a material form.
C. God speaks to King Belshazzar:
Handwriting on the wall and the end of the Babylonian kingdom (Daniel 5:22-31).
In approximately 610 B.C., Judah had fought a war with Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and lost. They were taken captive into Babylon. The temple Solomon built was destroyed and all the holy vessels of gold, silver, and bronze were brought to Babylon under the keeping of the King. These vessels were dedicated to the Lord in Solomon’s day. After Nebuchadnezzar died, at some later time his grandson, Belshazzar, took his place as king. He had no understanding that the God of Israel still had His hand on His people Israel.
The vessels had been used in the temple worship in Israel and were holy to Israel’s God, Jehovah.
“Belshazzar the King made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his Father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple of the house of God, which had been in Jerusalem; and the King and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lamp stand on the plaster of the wall of the King’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote” (Daniel 5:1-5).
“And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
“This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians”(Daniel 5:25.28).
“That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain”(Daniel 5:30).
Belshazzar was desecrating the vessels in his feast. Babylon’s time of ruling the known world had come to an end, even that very night. The hand that appeared and wrote on the wall was God showing Himself, at man’s level in a physical way, by writing on the wall. The hand wrote the doom of Belshazzar and Babylon.
D. Christ, the Water of Life:
“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ”(1 Corinthians 10:4).
At the beginning of Israel’s journey to the land that the Lord God promised, they came to a place of having no water. . God had told Moses to strike the rock and water would come out of the rock. Moses did as God commanded and struck the rock once and water came out of the rock (Exodus 17:5-7).
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron; gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals. So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank (Numbers 20:7-11).
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron,” Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12). All of this happened after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for almost 40 years.
The rock at Meribah (in Horeb), and the second rock at Kadesh was still called Meribah (meaning children of strife) because the children of Israel were complaining and rebelling. The rock at both places was Christ manifesting Himself through the rock for a purpose. The purpose was God giving Israel the water of life, which would thwart and keep them from death, and Jesus Christ, later as the Rock of God (Matthew 16:18; 20:22.23; 1 Peter 2:6-8), would offer Himself as the source of living water, eternal life (John 4:13-14; 7:37-39).
The Rock that Moses struck twice with the rod of God was a type of what God would put on Jesus Christ the Messiah (Isaiah 53:5, 8, 10). This would happen when He was crucified on the cross at Calvary and would carry on His body the sins of mankind throughout the world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).
The Prophet Isaiah wrote of what God did to Christ for man’s redemption: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
Because Moses disobeyed God and struck the rock twice (God struck Jesus Christ only once), Moses would die and not be able to go into the promised land with the Israelites.
E. The ark of God:
“David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand” (2 Samuel 6:1).
Verse 2: “And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. (God’s Spirit dwelt in the ark).
Verse 3: So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.
Verse 5: Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.
Verse 6: And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.
Verse 7: Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:1-3, 5-7). The Philistines, the enemies of Israel, had captured the ark of God and kept it to receive God’s blessing. However, they only receiveda curse from God, for thousands had died (1 Samuel ch 5 and 6). Therefore, they sent the ark back to Israel.
The ark of God was made by Israel as commanded by God. It was to be placed in the most holy place behind the veil in the tabernacle, later the temple. God’s Spirit dwelt in this Most Holy place, above the mercy seat between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony (Exodus 25:10-22). No man or beast was ever allowed to touch or handle the ark. When it was moved, poles were inserted into the rings built into the ark, and the priests only were to move it. The meaning of this is that sinful man cannot touch God. Moses alone met with God at the mercy seat (ark lid).
This Theophany lasted until Israel’s downfall, (prophesied in the 8th century B. C.) when Israel became known as a sinful nation (Isaiah 1:2-9). In the 6th century B.C., Ezekiel recorded God’s Spirit leaving the temple, which ended this Theophany (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4;11:22-23).
The Spirit of God did not return unto Israel again until Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into the land of Israel; then the Theophany of God’s Spirit, Jesus Christ, returned to Israel.
7. The tree of life
A. The tree of life:
“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 being”(Genesis 2:7).
“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed…The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden…” (Genesis 2:8-9).
“Then the Lord God took the man and put Him in the garden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17).
This world started with the tree of life in the Garden (Genesis 2:16.17). In the last chapter of the Bible we see the tree of life again in paradise. The revelation of God to man in this world starts with the tree of life and ends with the tree of life.
The words, “tree of life” is written ten times in the Old and New Testament. The number “10” in Scripture is usually connected with man’s responsibility to respond to God. There is only one entity in the universe that possesses eternity, or eternal life, and that is the Creator, and He alone can give it to whomsoever He will. There is no place in Scripture that contradicts this truth.As we have seen in the last three chapters, God has shown Himself in three ways. These three ways are only a small part in how He has manifested His divine person to man.
The tree of life is yet another object, like the burning bush, wherein God revealed Himself to Moses. By eating of this tree,Adam would gain eternal life in heaven with God. Adam already had eternal life on the earth without sin or death. By eating of the tree of life,Adam would be elevated to a heavenly sphere forever.. Any truth presented in Scripture must have the affirmation of the whole of Scripture. Other examples are necessary to show that this is God’s method throughout Scripture.
B.The Fiery Serpent:
Israel, in their pilgrimage to the promised land, started complaining of the hardships they were enduring. They were not thankful that God used Moses to lead them out of slavery in Egypt (Numbers 21:5). “So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people died(verse 6). The people then confessed their sin to Moses, and asked Moses to pray to the Lord for them (verse 7). Then the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live”(verse 8). The serpent is a type of Theophany of Christ, who is Judge and Saviour..
“So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the brass serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:9). Throughout Scripture, brass is used in connection with judgment of the people’s sin (Exodus 39:39). When Jesus comes to judge His Church, He comes with feet of brass (Revelations 1:15; 2:18). Jesus used this example in Numbers 21:4-9 as a type of Himself.
God heeded those who had faith in His word. Jesus said,“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”(John 13:14). Jesus was lifted up on the cross (pole) taking the penalty of judgment of mankind’s sins upon Himself (1 John 2:2). All who look on Him in faith will live forever.. He will give them the fruit of the tree of life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3: 15-16). All people have been bitten by that serpent (Satan) who was in the Garden of Eden. All who in faith look at God’s Redeemer on the cross shall live forever.
C. Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus:
Jesus said,“No one has ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Manwho is in heaven” (John 3:13).
The deity of Jesus Christ is clearly seen in this verse. He is in heaven, yet He is before them talking to them. He is omnipresent.
“Then Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32-33).
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you”(John 6:53).
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
“God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
In these verses Jesus states that He is the one and only life giver,and those that will gain eternal life must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. He then states that He is not speaking of material or physical things. What do His words mean?
D. How can man eat Christ’s flesh and drink Christ’s blood?
Every human being is a composite of three entities: “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).
a. The body:
Jesus said, to eat His flesh and to drink blood from His body was not physical, but must be done in spirit only (John 6:63). It is apparent that a person cannot physically eat or drink His body and blood.
b. The soul: mind, emotions and will.
The mind of man is shown in Romans 1:28
The emotions of man is demonstrated in John 19:6, 8
The will of man is seen in Matthew 27:24.
Since Jesus said eating and drinking of Him was spiritual, neither can the soul enter into that which is spirit.
c. The spirit:
The spirit in man contains a conscience and intuition, the ability to commune spiritually. The conscience in man gives him the right or wrong of his decisions by God’s law being written in his heart (Romans 2:15).
The intuition in man is perceiving something without being told (Mark 2:8). Man’s spirit can have communion with demonic spirits (1 John, ch 4), or the Spirit of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9).
Neither the body nor the soul can eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus. Only the spirit in man can do this. How? Jesus is theWord of God (John 1:1; Revelation 19:13). He offered up His body at the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2). This made it possible for all mankind to be redeemed to God. God has stated, “… for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul”(Leviticus 17:11).
Jesus’ blood was shed, once and forever, to put away God’s judgment on mankind for having sinned (Hebrews 10:10,12,14). This applies to each person who spiritually eats the Word of God (that means that He carried our sins vicariously upon His body on the cross, Isaiah 53:4-6, 10). He that lives by faith in Jesus Christ is saved to eternal life, “…The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). For all who drink the blood of Jesus spiritually,receive eternal life.This is completed by anyone who receives and drinks, by faith, the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary. “…God set forth as a propitiation (mercy) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness…”(Romans 3:25).
After Jesus died and rose from the grave, the meaning of eating His flesh and drinking His blood is given in the gospel of Jesus Christ: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He arose the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
For all who have eaten from Jesus Christ (the tree of life), this Scripture reveals where he stands with God:“From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and made us kings and priests (kingdom of priests) to His God and Father…”(Revelation 1:5-6).
8. Christ, the Rock and source of the living water
To the woman at the well at Sychar, Jesus said of the well water,, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”(John 4:13-14).
There are several Scriptures where God has given or promised the divine water of life to Israel. Here are a few: Ezekiel 36:25; 47:1-12; Numbers 20:11; and Judges 15:19).
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”(John 7:37-39).
We must see Jesus as to who He is, the very Word of God, the dispenser of the water of eternal life. Then we can understand His different manifestations and appearances to give eternal life. He is the everlasting One, Who loves all those who belong to Him, the Church (Ephesians 5:26). All people who have drank of Him by believing in Him, receive Him. This is through believing the gospel of Christ. To drink the water of Christ is to understand all men are sinners and apart from God; that Jesus died for our sins, (hung on the cross in our place), that He was in the grave for three days and three nights (in the eternal death that was ours) and that He then arose from among the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
By drinking of Jesus, we receive God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. And everyone who drinks of Him receives the fruit of the tree of life, eternal life with God forever (Revelation 22:1-5). The Christian has overcome this world and has received the reward of drinking the water of life, the Word of God, Jesus Christ.
“Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”(1 John 5:5).
Jesus said,“And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die: (Reader) Do you believe this?”(John 11:26).
9. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17).
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a supernatural object of total evil. The fruit of this tree has no limits in the evil it can produce. It seems evident that God limited Satan’s access to Adam except through eating of the fruit of this tree. It appears this tree was Satan’s only supernatural way to bring evil to and into man on the earth. Eating of the tree of life was the only way Adam or Eve could receive eternal life with God in heaven forever. So the tree of good and evil was the only way to enter into eternal death. Before that time, there was nothing Adam could do on the earth that was wrong or sinful, as sin did not exist. Only by Adam or Eve eating of the tree of good and evil would they be brought under Satan’s kingdom of darkness on earth. Adam had eternal life on the earth already, but not in heaven. If Adam ate of the tree of good and evil, he would die on the earth, and die eternally,and he would not have eternal fellowship with God (Genesis 3:2-3).
The tree of good and evil presented no threat to Adam and Eve as long as they lived and obeyed every word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).
Satan could not touch Adam and Eve as long as they lived in dependence on their Creator. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil still exist today. They will be examined more fully in the second half of this booklet.
The Fruit From the Good Side of Tree of Good and Evil
1. Adamic nature in man to do good:
Man appeases his conscience and his God consciousness by eating of the fruit from the good side of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He is a person doing good to man, hoping he will be alright in the next world.
2. Living in deception:
One of Satan’s main tools to deceive mankind is lies. Lies believed, direct a person’s life and actions. This takes that person away from God’s foundational truths for man, and away from the law God has put in his heart, and the revelation of God’s truth found in the Scriptures.
3. Man’s religion:
True fellowship with God is through Jesus Christ alone and God’s revelation of truth that is found only in His word, the Scriptures. Anyone who takes away from this unmovable foundation, or adds to it, is practicing man’s religion (Deuteronomy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Revelation 22:18-19). This is done in many ways: religious tradition, following the world’s culture, human opinion, lying, believing lies, twisting Scripture, following cults, sectarianism, following a religious leader, and many other human ideas of man (Romans 1:18).
4. Doing evil with good intentions:
Millions of people are following and promoting cults, and many others that deny that Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1), which is following the devil’s doctrine. Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only Saviour of this world (Isaiah 43:10-11; I John 4:14-15). Many of these people may have good and proper lives with good intentions, but the saying known by many is true, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
5. Good works of man:
The first man in this world to try to please God with his good works was Cain (Genesis 4:3). Because man has sin in him, God did not receive Cain’s sacrifice (Genesis 4:5). His brother Abel brought a blood sacrifice to the Lord which God accepted (Genesis 4:4). Today all people who have faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ are acceptable to God. The Prophet Isaiah recorded God’s mind concerning man’s righteousness by his good works: “…but we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are filthy rags…” (Isaiah 64:6). As it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one…” (Romans 3:10).
6. Man doing evil in God’s Name:
The best example of man doing evil in the name of the Lord is when the Jews, 2000 years ago, took their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and had Him crucified in the name of the Lord (John 19: 15-18). In times past the Roman Catholic Church burned Christians at the stake in the name of their church (which they assumed to be of the Lord). Others they murdered because of their testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:13). Today, spiritual evil abounds in churches, and other entities supposed to be of God. To name a few, the following are offences to the Spirit of God: Homosexuality ruling in the clergy (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), clergy and other hirelings making huge amounts of money for themselves using the word of God, just as the leaders did in Israel (Micah 3: 10-11). Whereas God places His spirit to guide and to lead His people, some men or women rule over instead, even throwing out those who oppose them in the church because of the leader’s unbiblical doctrine (1 John 9-10). These are only a few evils which oppose the kingdom of Christ.
7. Stubbornness in religion:
The devil is most certainly in the religion business. The religions of the world find their root and foundation in a deception of the devil, a lie. Scripture teaches that God’s word alone is the truth. Jesus said “I am the truth…” (John 14:6). He is the word of God (Revelation 19:13). Stubbornness in religion is Satan’s lie, combined with man’s willfulness to form a different religion. Speaking of His Father, Jesus said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). A person facing truth and rejecting it to follow their own religion is stubbornness in religion.
The Fruit From the Evil Side of the Tree of Good and Evil
1. The lust of the flesh:
The lust of the flesh is the desire within a person to fulfill that desire without accountability to the law of God, or conscience.
2. The devil giving power and wealth:
When Jesus was on the earth, the devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of this world if He would fall down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-9). Satan is the ruler of this present world (John 14:30; 1 John 5:19), and he has much power and even wealth. He can give it to those who lust after these things, to those who will listen to him and do his bidding.
Satan’s kingdom of darkness leads to violence. Those who follow after that darkness will commit acts of violence or have the works of violence done to them. It may be physical or spiritual violence. This is a prayer to God by King David: “…let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him” (Psalms 140:11).
4. Demonic pride:
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). To many people, pride seems like a way to get above others, and believe it will bring them to a high place. There are many Scriptures that show what happened to people who became prideful (Psalms chapter 73).
5. Demonic power over man:
To eat this fruit will give the devil full access into a person’s spirit and allow them to do the most evil things. The devil’s power will be in them and with them to fulfill this desire in them. This will put them into a place of power over others for a season. However, the devil is a hard taskmaster, and the price for eating this fruit will be high. Those who have eaten this fruit do not understand what their final end will be. “…your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
6. Witchcraft and Drugs:
The English word “witchcraft” is the Greek word “pharmakia”. It means drugs, incantation, spells, etc. Part of the practice of witchcraft is seeking the devil for supernatural power that can be used over other people. The use of drugs for ecstasy experiences is one of the devil’s tools of deception. He uses it to destroy God’s creation in man, his brain and ability to think, reason, and listen to his conscience. Both are a form of idolatry. “Now the works of the flesh are idolatry, sorcery (witchcraft)…” (Galatians 5:19-20).
7. Lust of the eye:
The eye gate to the soul can be opened through the second look. The soul is the instrument stirred up to fulfill desire. If the conscience does not overrule the soul, the soul may be engaged to pursue the object of the lust of the eye. Eve started her downward fall through the lust of the eye. Next came the lust of the flesh, then the fulfillment by satisfying the lust of the flesh physically, partaking of what the eye gate opened up. “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15).
Murder is the taking of another person’s life unlawfully (Numbers 35:30). Looking on another person with full intent to murder him, is murder before God (Matthew 5:28), whether it is adultery or murder. Jesus says to a heart bent on murder, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is God’s answer to one who has murder in his heart.
Fruit from the Tree of Life
Loving kindness is an equal meaning of the word. Mercy is the nature and character of God. “The Lord is good; His mercy is every lasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalms 100:5). Eating this fruit brings the nature of the fruit into the eater.
2. Living in the hope of being with God forever:
Within every human being is a spirit. This spirit God breathed into Adam. It is passed down from Adam to all his offspring. It is eternal. The body will die without it. For the person who believes God in faith, the spirit within him yearns to be back with the Creator. Eating from this fruit gives a longing for fulfillment in Christ Jesus. This hope is shown here. “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
3. Returning Good for Evil:
Eating this fruit from the tree of life is shown by Jesus’ words. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sakes” (Luke 6:22). For the Christian, such treatment is a blessed place when you are innocent (1 Peter 2:19-20). It is seen of all when a Christian returns good as Jesus did. “…when he was reviled He did not revile in return; He suffered…” (1 Peter 2:23). By the Holy Spirit so functioning in the Christian, God is glorified.
4. Living in the Promises of God:
How does a person do what this title states? Every word Jesus spoke was the word of God, for He was the Word of God (John 1.1). Every teaching the apostles spoke and wrote was the Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9), and the very word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Believing and following every word of God is the proof of a person’s faith. Nothing less than the whole counsel of God is to be the exercise of a Christian (Acts 20:27).
5. Loving kindness:
This is incorporated into a person’s spirit by abiding in the tree of life. Jesus made it very clear that the person who abides in Himself will be filled with this fruit (John 15:1-13).
6. Eternal Life:
Eternal is a life with God forever. It cannot be changed or lost because it is a gift of God, without man’s works, or lack of works (Romans 4:1-6). It is called in Scripture an unspeakable or indescribable gift (2Corinthians 9:15). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8).
7. Able to see by Faith:
When a person walks in light, he is able to keep from stumbling and falling. The tree of life puts light in the pathway of all who eat of its fruit. The light of God dispels all darkness and rabbit trails that lead to darkness. In fact, the more one eats the fruit, the more intense the light becomes, and that person lives with vision and spiritual meaning.
8. Long suffering:
The person who has eaten the fruit of long suffering is of great value. That person suffers vicariously from the results of others who have eaten from the tree of good and evil, those who walk in darkness. Long suffering results in asking the Lord to bring light for those who stumble in that darkness. A long-suffering person does not think of himself, but prays continually for God to deliver those that he or she is praying for will be delivered out of darkness.
9. God’s Righteousness:
The eater of this fruit walks in this life with a clean conscience. He is clean before God (John 15:3). As that person walks in light and life of the tree of eternal life, he is a free person. “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves” (Romans 14:22) He possesses total righteousness, God’s Righteousness, as a gift from God (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:13, 22.25). His life before men may not be acceptable; however, before God, he is totally acceptable (2 Corinthians 5:21).
10. Peace with God:
In this world of woe, there is strife, trouble, wars, violence, injustice, sin without judgment, and many other such offenses. However, the one who eats of the tree of life will have Peace with the eternal God. His peace will be an eternal peace forever. This is because it is God’s Peace given to the eater. It won’t stop the evil in this world, but that person who eats will possess the peace of God (Romans 5:1-11).
11. Love that Endures:
The only love that does not fail is divine love. This is the very nature of God. The expression of this love is seen in these ways: “Love suffers long, is kind, does not envy; love is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices in the truth. This love never fails” (1 Corinthians, chapter 13). Scripture calls it “Agape Love”. This fruit of God is in every person who is eating from the tree of life. It is the Spirit of God forming in them and working out through them as they walk in faith to the truth, the Son of God (John 14:6).
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2), Joy is the fruit that gives power to live by faith, even in the most difficult times. “Do not sorrow, the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Those who eat from the tree of life have the kingdom of God (the Holy Spirit) within them, and it is because of this, “For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
A Theophany is a visible manifestation of deity, as stated in Webster’s Dictionary
- What is man?
- The inward working of man
- Ability to communicate
- Spiritual intuition
- Received a conscience
- Man’s will
- Five senses: hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching
- The two trees in the garden of Eden
- The tree of the knowledge of good and evil defined
- Good side of tree
- Evil side of tree
- The tree of life defined
- The tree of the knowledge of good and evil today
- The tree of life
- Living off of the fruit of the tree of life
- The goats that try to be sheep
Part I of this booklet primarily shows how God revealed Himself to Israel through physical manifestations. The written record of these events is for all mankind to see and understand that the God of Israel is the God of all creation. He created the heavens and the earth, and created man upon the earth (Isaiah 45:12). God revealed Himself to Israel physically in many ways, at different times.
Part I of the booklet is the foundation to help understand the second part. Part II shows that Jesus Christ came into the world as a Theophany of God. He was God (John 1:1) and also the Son of God. He was from above and the only light of God in this world (John 8:12, 23). Part II also reveals Jesus Christ and the Church He is building through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is meant to give understanding of the work of the Spirit of God as He relates to man on the earth.
Part II of this booklet will also show that the two trees in the Garden of Eden are still with us today (the Theophany of God). However, they are in different forms. The reader should look up the Scriptures presented and meditate on the implication of these Theophanies. Some will find it hard to believe and/or accept, but a person living ONLY according to the “Good” of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil have NO chance to enter Heaven. Living a life of wonderful morality, giving generously (charity), being completely honest and all the other 613 commandments found in the Old Testament will be of no eternal value unless the individual partakes of the Tree of Life and spiritually eats and drinks of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In John 6:53, Jesus told the people that unless they would eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, they could not have life in them. .
William MacDonald explains the eating of Jesus’ flesh and the drinking of His blood as Jesus stated in John 6:63:
“These people had been thinking in terms of Christ’s literal flesh, but here He told them that eternal life was not gained by eating flesh but by the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Flesh cannot give life; only the Spirit can do this. They had taken His words literally and had not realized that they were to be understood spiritually.. And so here the Lord Jesus explained that the words that He spoke were spirit and they were life; when His sayings about eating His flesh and drinking His blood were understood in a spiritual way, as meaning belief in Him, then those who accepted the message would receive eternal life.” (William MacDonald, Believers Commentary).
The words in Part II of this booklet are to be understood in the same way. God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and to receive eternal life His words must be received, not literally, but they must be understood spiritually.
1. What is man
“Then God said, let us make man in our own image, after our likeness – so God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He Him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
God made Adam as a perfect man, of which Scripture reveals Adam’s created makeup. Adam and man today are identical in their inner being. The same inner working that motivated Adam, after he ate of the forbidden fruit, is what motivates every person today. Adam was created with a spirit, soul and body, as is every person.
God made man from the dust of the earth. This dust, in the form of man, was without life, spirit or soul. The man was not alive, nor was he dead. When God breathed life and light intoAdam with His own image and likeness, he became a living being (Genesis 2:7).
God’s finished creation of Adam made him a spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). When God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s body, He became a spirit being living in a physical body. . A soul was created as well, and it was a unifying entity between the spirit and the body. Adam was a perfect man, created in the physical image of what was in the mind of God. He was to live on the planet in a state of tranquility,ruling, over the perfect creation forever. Adam was as a child in a totally innocent state. He had no knowledge of good or evil as sin did not exist on the earth.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hand; You have put all things under his feet (Psalms 8:4-6).
In Adam’s state of perfection, God came down to his level and took on a human form, a Theophany. God did this so He could walk and talk with Adam on Adam’s level (Genesis 3:8).
2. The inward working of man
“Now, may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The Creator’s desire to make a man in His own image and likeness was fulfilled in Adam. Adam was safe from the evil in the universe,as a dependent man living and abiding in the Creator’s every word. However, Adam did not stay in the protected place of God’s Word. He chose a different path and brought sin and death upon the whole world (Romans 5:12).
It is important to understand what Scripture states regarding Adam’s creation.The Scriptural breakdown of Adam’s inner workings is shown in the spirit, soul and body.. This is important, as will be seen in the following chapters, because man’s makeup today is no different than Adam’s in relating to man and relating to the Creator..
The following is a breakdown of man as God created him. It gives understanding of Adam’s decision-making process. It shows that Adam made decisions as a natural man. He was not a spiritual man as he did not have an eternal or heavenly understanding. His view point, which was earthly, affected his thinking and his decision making.Therefore, he looked only on the things of this earth.
A. Scripture reveals that, in man’s spirit, he has the ability to communicate with the spirit world. This entails listening to either God speaking to man’s spirit, or following the devil’s leading to live and walk after his kingdom of darkness.
B. Man has spiritual intuition; he perceives entities, things and people without knowledge. All people have spiritual intuition, and some people are much more aware of it than others.
C. Man received a conscience when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, and the law of God was then written on his heart (Romans 2:15). .
With these two, spiritual intuition and conscience, he now had the tools to decide to receive what God provided in nature, and reject eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam, ignoring God’s word to him, then chose the fruit of the tree of good and evil, which was a natural choice for him to make to live a natural life, but with a sin nature.
The decision to eat the fruit of evil from the tree comes from the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and pride, to get what is not spiritually acceptable to God (1 John 2:16; Genesis 3:6). The good side of the tree offers no redemption for man’s fallen state, but if exercised, it does keep him from falling into worse evil pits. Because of the sin that dwells within man, the good from listening to the law of God in his heart and his conscience will help keep him from many pitfalls. However, there is no eternal redemption with God in the good that people perform. The law of God that God has put in man and the conscience He has given man, will allow him to follow the good from the tree of good and evil. There is no eternal redemption in the good of this tree;only in the tree of life does man receive eternal life with God. An example of the good in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is found in Matthew 16:21-23.“From that time forth Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to you! Jesus said,Get behind Me, Satan!” Peter loved the Lord Jesus and wanted none of these things to come upon Jesus. It is evident that Peter was speaking to Jesus from the good of the tree of good and evil. Peter meant well, but they were Satan’s words, and totally against the will of God (Matthew 13:10-17).
In this world, Satan uses what appeals to the natural man, good things to build his kingdom of darkness. Peters words are an example of this.
Had his words prevailed, this world would be without a Savior’s redemption.
A. The mind,which is found in man’s soul, operates and directs the brain to carry out movements in the body.
B. The emotions are the vehicle that makes and plays a major part in man’s decisions. They do not detect truth or error – just desire, and they attempt to direct the body accordingly.
C. The will is the agent that directs the purpose of a person’s decisions, and with it, commands the body. It is used to carry out the spiritual direction in man’s spirit, and directs the body to physical action. The will (believer or unbeliever) decides to agree with the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The foundation of the will’s decision is whether that person has spiritual hearing from God.
A. Thebody has five senses.They are physical with the ability to smell,hear,taste, feel and see. In the body, both pleasure and pain are felt according to the physical things that happen to the body..
For a more in-depth Biblical study of man’s makeup, see the booklet by D. Neely “Spirit, Soul, Body” at SearchouttheScriptures.com. Also there is a three-set volume, “The Spiritual Man,” by Watchman Nee that will give a Biblical exhaustive study on this subject.
3. The two trees in the garden of Eden
This chapter gives understanding to the ramifications of Adam’s decision to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Satan is shown as a created spirit who became in total rebellion against God, which happened before the earth was created. Every person today is affected by Adam’s decision to follow his wife, Eve, who gave herself over to the devil’s enticement. This changed man forever, as well as the planet which became cursed into a world of darkness. Evil was made normal to man’s nature and the world became a place where evil and death reign.
Jesus said: “…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree bear good. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:17-19).
“But He answered and said, every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted” (Matthew 15:13).
“…for whatsoever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Many have asked why did God put the two trees in the garden of Eden, especially the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why create man and then put before him two trees, one of which could destroy him? The answer to the question is this: They already existed, but in a different form. Satan was created an angel – a spirit being (2 Corinthians 11:4). Satan was a threat to Adam, even without the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He had already elevated himself above the Creator before the six-day creation period when God created the earth. For man’s protection, God limited Satan’s power to destroy life on the planet, through the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man would be safe on the planet as long as he fellowshipped with the Creator, and believed His protecting Word. Living by every Word of God put Adam and Eve in a totally protected place from Satan’s designs.
“How you are fallen from heaven, o Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. (“Isaiah 14:12.14). Through his pride and self elevation, Satan became the king of darkness. Those created spiritual beings in the heavenly sphere who followed him became his subjects (Ephesians 6:12). Satan was, and still is, loosed in the heavens and over the earth. He is the present ruler of this world (Matthew 4:8-10; John 14:30).
By putting the two trees in the garden, God gave Adam a warning that Satan was loose in the heavens and the earth, and Satan would bring death to Adam if he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The commandment of God concerning the tree of good and evil gave Adam the warning of Satan’s intention toward him (Genesis 2:15-17). Adam was safe from Satan as a dependent man on the Creator; but without staying in his created place in dependence on God, he was unprotected and unknowledgeable of Satan’s destructive power and purposes. God’s commandment to Adam protected him completely from Satan and his kingdom of darkness. When Christ walked the earth, Satan tried to tempt Jesus, but“He (Jesus)answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
However, as recorded in Genesis chapter 3, Adam did not abide in God’s commandment that he not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Because Eve and Adam both ate the fruit, they fell from being made in God’s image and likeness.
Satan, from the beginning (John 8:44) of his prideful rebellion, was and is evil. From that time forward, till the present day, his purposes have not changed. The Apostle Peter gave the warning of the devil’s eternal intentions: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
4. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Defined
A.The good side of the tree: Choosing to eat from the good fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil plants the seed of Satan’s DECEIT. Most people in the world are eating this fruit.The outward appearance of this fruit and the good intentions of man’s ideas seem to be of the same purpose, and fit together.. There may be little internal conflict when man eats the fruit of this tree. However, the root of the tree of good and evil is Satan and the sap coming from the root into the fruit is poison. For example, Hitler promised great and wonderful things for Germany if elected to the place of supreme power. All the things he would do for Germany seemed like nothing but good. However,eventually this man completely destroyed the country.
B. The evil side of the tree: There may be many reasons that make a person decide to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, but the foundational reason is elevation of self.The fruit allows Satan’s complete access into the soul of man. Man’s decision to eat from the evil fruit overrides the Law of God and that person’s conscience, corrupting his soul. When his conscience has been seared with hot iron (1Timothy 4:2), there is no limit to Satan’s kingdom of darkness working in that person. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan has one purpose in his kingdom. That purpose is to blind and deceive anyone who eats the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Eve did not know what death was, but she wanted the good (what she desired) of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. She wanted what God had not allowed her to have. They were the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye (Genesis 3:6). Satan had told her by eating the fruit of the tree she would rise up to be like God (verse 5). Eve’s intentions were evil. She thought to gain what was the good from the fruit (Satan’s words to her). Adam joined her in eating the fruit and all of mankind has followed their pattern. Man’s natural tendency is to follow Satan, not God.
5. The tree of life defined The Theophany of God
“I have made the earth, and created man on it. I – my hands .stretched out the heavens and all their host I have commanded” (Isaiah 45:12).
Eating the fruit from the tree of life is mankind’s straight road to life forever with the Creator. “…and raised us up together, and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). “Where the Lord God shall reign forever and ever” (Micah 4:7; Revelation 22:5). This is the inheritance of those who have eaten, and are feasting continually off the tree of life. These people become attentive to the Chief Shepherd’s voice, obeying every word of God (Hebrews1:1, 13-16). They are no longer earth dwellers, but they seek a city whose builder and maker is God. Abraham is the example of such a person. He is called the friend of God three times in Scripture (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). He had an unbreakable hope in the God of the heavens (1 Peter 5:8).
6. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil today
In this chapter, the tree of knowledge of good and evil becomes a reality to all people, as it still exists today.. God, however, has different ways and manifestations. He offers man today the same tree of life that He offered to Adam, which would bring man into eternal life.
God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and the devil and his angels are created spirit beings (Ephesians 6:12; Revelations 16:14). The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life were spiritual entities in physical form (avenues to bring a person into Satan’s kingdom of darkness or to bring a person eternally into the kingdom of God). The fruit from the tree of life brought eternal life to the one who partook of it. Anyone who ate of the fruit of the tree of good and evil ate death to themselves. This death came in two ways —spiritual death (separation from the Creator), and physical death (separation of the spirit and soul from the body). .
Adam would not have experienced death except by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. How do we know this? There was no death on the planet until Adam ate of the fruit (Romans 5:12).
Sin and death were brought to the planet, not by physical means, but through a spiritual medium, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was not the fruit itself that brought death, but by eating the fruit. The fruit they ate were the words of Satan! Through eating Satan’s words, the spirit of darkness and evil entered into Adam. At that point, the darkness foreign to God’s image and likeness, was received and released into Adam and Eve’s spirit —-spiritual rebellion, resulting in sin and death.. In other words, by Adam eating of the fruit, Satan gained spiritual access into Adam’s spirit. Before Adam ate of the fruit, Satan had no access into his spirit. Adam was a dependant man who lived by every word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4), but his spiritual DNA (his nature) was forever changed by receiving the forbidden fruit. Now,Adam and all men after him would live by their conscience, which would tell them if something was good or evil. Adam, and all mankind through Adam, also received into their spirit the law of God. Their conscience used the law of God as a standard of good and evil (Romans 2:15).
After Adam’s fall he had a new master – Satan, the king of darkness and death. Light and darkness cannot co-exist because one will prevail over the other. Every person follows the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, or the king of darkness. By receiving darkness into his spirit and soul, Adam now had only one master, and the planet became a place of death. This new master brought him into Satan’s kingdom of darkness, a place of sin and death. God had given Adam a conscience when he fell, which would be his sole protection against his own new skewed nature. He now would live by the knowledge of good and evil. All of Adam and Eve’s offspring would also have the same nature they had acquired, and therefore would be responsive to Satan’s wiles, lies and deceptions, which are his tools to devour mankind. The only place of eternal hope for Adam was in faith to the promise of God that He would send a Redeemer for mankind (Genesis 3:15).
After the flood, in Noah’s new world, God gave man governmental laws to live by,through government (Genesis 9:3-6; Romans 13:1-7). Because man became unresponsive to his conscience, it could not protect him from evil for the 1500 years before the flood.Violence and destruction went on from the time of Cain’s act of murdering his brother, Abel. Law,through government, would be a further deterrent to man’s nature and Satan’s deceptions.
Today, the devil is still the prince of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), and the god of this cursed and fallen world (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Natural man is bound by his spiritual DNA. It is his nature to make all his decisions on the basis of good and evil. He does not have a divine view or understanding of eternity or this planet. His decisions sometimes look good and right, and sometimes they are evil, but both come from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and are the pathway to eternal death. Man cannot change this endless cycle. He is in a whirlpool, living under the law of sin and death without God (Romans 8:2). Man’s conscience, the law of God written in his heart, and governmental laws has not stopped him from following evil. This has brought the world to one common factor with all living entities in Adam. All die! This makes the world a planet of death, one big graveyard. It is man’s future in nature and body to live in a body of death (Romans 7:24), living on a planet of death.
Adam’s body is dust of the earth and completely one with the world; as Scripture shows, “For in Adam all die…”(1 Corinthians 15:22). All mankind returns to be the dust of the earth.
Man’s efforts – religion, good works, education, right intentions, good deeds, attempts to keep God’s law’s, are all of no avail. Denial of eternal judgment, and his abstaining from all known evil, cannot save him from eternal death. The law of sin and death, which rules over man (Romans 8:2), has come upon all through inheritance because they are sons of Adam.
“For – by the one man’s (Adam) offense, death reigned through one…” (Romans 5:17).
“There is none righteous, no not one…”(Romans 3:10).
7. The tree of life
In this chapter, the two trees are presented as they exist today. . The adamic nature in man is seen as he eats of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A person with discernment can have understanding as to which fruit he may be eating. The tree of life is seen in a different form today, to bring life in the Spirit to the Christian. The believer has the right given to him by God to eat of the tree of life, resulting in life eternal.
“I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed (are) they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and that they should go in by the gates into the city”Revelation 22:13-14 JND).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; to him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God”(Revelation 2:7).
“For all that has been begotten of God gets the victory over the world; and this is the victory over the world, our faith. Who is he that gets the victory over the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5 JND).
Before Adam ate of the tree of good and evil, he had not experienced the effect of eating the fruit of either tree. We know what happened when he ate the fruit from the tree of good and evil, but what would have happened if Adam had eaten of the tree of life instead? The one leads to darkness and death. The tree of life leads to eternal light and life.
The tree of life was spiritual (a Theophany). It was and is God manifested to man, as a copy on the earth of what is in heaven (John 3:13; Hebrews 9:23). “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Whoever eats of this tree will never die (be separated from God and go into eternal darkness). God put Adam and Eve out of the garden, for if Adam had eaten from both trees he would live forever in his sins. Adam and Eve therefore had to leave the Garden of Eden, and God set cherubim, with a flaming sword, at the gate of the garden to keep them out (Genesis 3:24).
When God discovered the fallen state of Adam and Eve, because they ate of the forbidden fruit (God deals with man according toman’s mortality, not God’s divinity), He gave them instructions and commands, and told them what was before them in the future because of their decision. But He also gave hope to Adam (through prophesy) in which he said to the serpent (the devil),“And I will bring enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed (seed, Satan’s agents, Adam’s offspring who would be born with a sin nature) and her Seed (Jesus Christ the redeemer, who would be born of a woman); He shall crush thy head (destroy the power and works of the devil, (1 John 3:8) and thou shall crush His heel. To get victory over Satan, Jesus Christ would die on the cross for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). He would die and experience death for every person’s sins (Hebrews 2:9); and then rise from among the dead and gain victory over death and Hades (Genesis 3:15 JND). These words that God spoke to the serpent were a prophesy and a promise of hope for mankind, that God would put before man a way to be redeemed from his cursed nature (which only produces sin and death).
This prophesy was fulfilled 2000+ years ago on Calvary’s cross at Jerusalem by Jesus Christ as He said, after He arose from among the dead and is recorded in Scripture:“… do not be afraid; I am the First and Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of death” (Revelation 1:17-18).
The divine tree of life in the Garden of Eden has come down to earth as a copy (figurative representation, Hebrews 9:23 JND) of what is in heaven, Jesus Christ. Jesus, in speaking to a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, said that He is omnipresent and He is that One who gives eternal life. He stated, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in heaven” (present tense), (John 3:13).
“…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15-16).
In John chapter 6, it is shown who and what the fruit of the tree of life is, that man must eat to gain eternal life. Jesus said,“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world — I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”(John 6:33, 35).
“ …. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever…(John 6:51).
Jesus Christ has appeared to man, as recorded in the Old Testament, many times as a Theophany. He is seen in Genesis chapter 18; 32:24-30; Exodus 3:1-14; Judges 13:1-22; Daniel 4:19-25. There can be no doubt that the tree of life in the Garden of Eden was Jesus Christ, in the form of a Theophany. And He is that tree in the paradise of God, in the New Heaven and Earth (Revelation 2:7; 22:2,13-14).
The person who now eats the flesh of Jesus Christ, eats the Word of God (John 1:1, 14) and drinks His blood, the blood He shed on the cross at Calvary, the blood He shed for redemption of those who have faith in Him and who receive Him (Romans 3:24-28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Revelation 1:5). By faith, this person has entered into life eternal (John 6:54). “Whosoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed,” (food for the spirit in man) “and my blood is drink indeed” (receives by faith the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross for the payment of the believer’s sin). “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:54-56). Jesus said that eating His flesh and drinking His blood, are not physical, but spiritual. He said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). By Jesus Christ’s victory over the devil, Jesus overcame death and Hades for mankind through His resurrection from the dead (Revelation 1:18). The devil had brought death into the world through Adam. Jesus has put forth a free gift of salvation and redemption before all men who will eat of the tree of life—-not through man’s efforts, but through faith in the tree of life that has come to earth in human form. In John chapter six, the bread and blood that came down from heaven is Jesus Christ, Who is also the tree of life.
Today, a person eating the fruit of this tree of life becomes born of God (John 1:12-13). He is in complete and full fellowship and favor with God, and a friend of God (John 15:15). The sins and looming judgment of eternal death that were awaiting that person have been put away,, through the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus for all eternity (Hebrews 10:10, 12). Through the sacrifice of Jesus, everyone eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus has been regenerated, and made a saint of God, perfect forever in the eyes of God (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus took the sinner’s sin upon Himself at the cross of Calvary and endured the total and righteous wrath of God in His suffering and death. When He bodily arose from among the dead, it was clear evidence that God accepted his sacrifice for our sin. God then imputed Jesus’ total righteousness into the person who has eaten His flesh and drank His blood (2 Corinthians 5:21). The believer now has the complete righteousness of Jesus Christ within him. He is as righteous as Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is in him (Romans 4:1-8, 13, 20-24; Colossians 1:27).
That person has become spiritually reborn, by God’s Spirit, into a son of God. “You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:26).
8. Living off of the fruit of the tree of life
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
As stated earlier, the two trees are spiritual and they are still in the world today. Man, by his adamic nature, unknowingly but willingly partakes of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Through his natural thought processes, he sees only the things of this world. In all his decisions he is guided by what is natural to him. His adamic nature knows only the things of his flesh and this world, and for the most part he is unaware of the demonic entities that influence him.
The fact that he is religious makes no difference when he is not eating the flesh of Jesus (consuming the word of Jesus and being directed by it), which would bring him into a life of being directed by the Spirit of God.
For religious people, the tree of good and evil can be just following church culture, the world in religious form, traditions, culture, church hierarchy, charismatic leader or organizations or programs. When it comes to eating fruit from the tree of good and evil, where man’s religious or philosophical ideas come from, there is no end to this type of fruit. These ideas are put into religious organizations in the name of God and are the world’s culture which people follow in place of truth. For example,man’s ideas mixed with the word of God become man’s religion. The same temptations that the devil tempted Eve with are what he still uses to tempt all people today, as seen in this Scripture: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world —-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life —-is not of the Father but is of the world”(1 John 2:15-16). This is true in every aspect of living; and, especially through religion, where the devil has had great success. John Darby stated over 140 years ago “the devil is never so dangerous as when he has a Bible in his hand.”
The test for a person of which tree the fruit is being eaten from, is the response of the person to truth as taught in Scripture (does he receive all Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16)? Is the Holy Spirit leading his life shown by him following truth (the whole counsel of God for Christians as shown in Acts 20:27)? If he does not, he will be eating of the tree of good and evil in a religious form). The tree of good and evil produces the carnal works of the flesh (the elevation of self (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:19-21). Carnal works resist the truths in Scripture that the Holy Spirit is using to build the Church of God (Acts 8:17-23). Eating the fruit of the tree of life brings forth an open heart to receive truth and light made known in Scripture; this fruit is seen in the putting away of self and looking unto Jesus in every word of God (Matthew 4:4; Colossians 3:1-2 ). The result of the fruit of the Spirit in that person’s life, is the renewing of the person’s mind spiritual direction (Romans 12:1-3). Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of the works of the flesh. Verses 22-24 give a list (not a complete list) of the fruit of the Spirit. This list contains the transformation that happens to the person when they eat the fruit of the tree of life. The person living a natural life, according to the tree of good and evil, is living a carnal or fleshly life; eternal death is that person’s end (Romans 8:6). The Scripture teaches that anyone following this pathway (the natural ways of this world) is at enmity with God (Romans 8:7).
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 16:25).
Jesus said, “He who is of God hears God’s words…” (John 8:47). To hear means to follow Christ Jesus through His voice. His voice is shown in Scripture as truth, God’s voice, to be the primary direction and practice in the believer’s life. Those who choose the natural, the world, the devil, or the flesh (their own religious or righteous flesh) cannot hear God’s word. These people may be church leaders, hold a position of authority in the church, or be looked up to by their back-slapping fellow parishioners. They hang around the divine water trough with the sheep, but they do not drink the water of life (John 4:10-14), Those who choose religious flesh will follow what pleases their adamic nature, which receives deceptive teaching and thinking, and they are unaware (through a hardened or seared conscience) that what they are following is not from the Holy Spirit or Scripture.
The prophet Jeremiah shows what is in the human heart, and that it is open to all kinds of deception. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”(Jeremiah 17:9). The human heart is fertile ground for a person’s adamic nature to believe and follow the religious popularity of the day: charismatic leaders, church tradition, religious culture, calling Scripture culture (Scripture is the doctrine of Christ, 2 John 9), clergy (Nicolaitanism, Revelation 2:6, 15), and hierarchy (ruling over the laity). These things are not found in Scripture as the pathway of following Jesus. Yet, these are followed by the many instead of Jesus Christ and the revelation of Him in Scripture. These diversions are received as from God by many. For Christian growth to develop, truth (Jesus Christ) must be received by faith and followed as He is revealed in Scripture. This is done by hearing and following the voice of Jesus (walking in the Spirit). Many today profess they are walking in the Spirit, while they resist the Holy Spirit and refuse His Word.
On an individual level, Jesus made it easy to understand what it means to follow Him, to be His disciple (a learner of Him and His kingdom). He said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple”(Luke 14:26-27). The question in the heart of a professed believer that needs to be answered is: Would I turn my back on my church, my pastor,my position in the church, my doctrine (what I practice in my life as from God, but is not the Shepherd’s voice), my family and friends or my will? Do I care enough to find out how to follow Jesus according to His person and HisWord? Or, am I satisfied with no hunger for the Jesus in the Bible, and just follow along and drink at the religious water trough with like-minded peers, even though I am partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Am I willing to drop my religion to follow the Jesus in the Bible, or will I be as those disciples who walked away from Jesus when His words were not received (John 6:60-61, 66)?
For a person who has believed God and becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit directs him to eat only from one tree, the tree of life, the word of God. This brings and keeps him dependent on Jesus Christ and His word. Any other pathway is the broad road to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14), and keeps a person eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which leads away from the tree of life.
A believer’s dependent life of faith in God develops the Christian into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), and brings him/her into a normal and practical life in the kingdom of God. We are instructed what this life is, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”(Romans 14:17).
God has predestined every Christian to be His and to live in the riches of His kingdom.That is the Christian’s calling in this life and his eternal future.
“… I am come that they might have life, and might have (it) abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Some have said in our country that a large number of churches will be closed in ten years. Those who follow church trends say, for example, that evangelicalism has ceased to grow.. The biggest problem in the professing church today is mediocrity. Jesus calls attention to it when He speaks to the church of Laodicea. Most prophetic Biblical teachers would agree that we live in the age or day of Laodicea.“I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked- -I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, Therefore be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:15-22).
Jesus speaks to this church, Laodicea, but when it does not answer, He knocks at the heart’s door of those who profess Him. Today we have the voice of Jesus in written form to every individual of faith. It is vibrant and alive (words of life) in the New Testament epistles and the first three chapters of Revelation. These are the words of Jesus, through the apostles (1 Thessalonians 2:13), to those who profess to follow Him. Receiving and eating His every word is as eating His flesh, which gives a dead man (dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2: 1-9), a new eternal life with God. Every person is a dead man by nature, Jesus is “a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). Those who eat of Jesus as the tree of life and eat His flesh become saved. They have then entered through the gate/door, which is Jesus (John10:7), to go into the divine pasture of God to continue grazing on the words of Jesus. They are the sheep of His pasture (John 10:9). The pasture is another Theophany. The sheep are grazing on the pasture that contains every word of God (Matthew 4:4). This feasting on the heavenly pasture will go on forever,throughout this life and eternally into the next.
10. The goats that try to be sheep
“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.
And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:17-22).
This rich young man that came to Jesus was like many wealthy religious people. He wanted to know what he could do to gain eternal life. He called Jesus “good teacher.” Jesus had laid aside His divinity,and became 100-percent man, a totally dependent man on His Father in heaven (Philippians 2:5-8). As a man, Jesus told him only God was good.
Jesus tested the young man by telling Him to keep the commandments, and repeated a few (There were 613 commandments in the law of Moses altogether). The young man said he had kept the commandments from his youth. Then Jesus looked at him and loved him. This young man was sincere indoing the right thing. He had tried to faithfully keep the commandments and to do good before God and man. Then Jesus said to him that he still lacked one thing, to gain eternal life (righteousness before God). This one thing has four different actions of faith on his part. Nothing he has, or does, can bring him into the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).
1. This young man needs to see himself, as Job saw himself, when God spoke to Job. Job said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”(Job 42:5-6). Job came to understand that all his righteous acts or works would not make him acceptable to God. Job came to see that, in himself, there was nothing righteous. Job was a sinner before a righteous God. Also with this young man, he needed to come to Jesus as Job came to God.
2. The young man needed to put away his religion. Attempting to keep the law, as Scripture shows, only brings death, not life (Romans 7:10; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 9). Why? It is because all men fail at it. He had to follow something much higher than the Law of Moses, that being Jesus Christ the Righteous. Only by following the Lord Jesus can a person become saved and made righteous (Ephesians 2:8-9) and acceptable to God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
3. Money was another of the hindrances this young man faced to be able to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:23). With much money comes power, a false sense of one’s worth. In Christendom, a person giving large amounts of money can get a sense of false security and a controlling spirit over the Lord’s people, (he thinks he has bought his way into the kingdom). He may think the word of the Lord is not as important as what he is doing, and the praise of men may be his pillar. . “The poor man uses entreaties, but the rich answers roughly” (Proverbs 18:23). Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing…” (Revelation 3:17). With giving a lot, there is a sense of controlling God by doing Him a favor and have no need to keep the words of Jesus.. Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God”(Mark 10:23). Jesus told the rich young man if he was to follow Himself he was to come with nothing.
4.This young man needed revelation to see that Jesus was the Messiah, man’s only salvation before God (Acts 4:12; 1 Peter 1:1). Jesus said to the young man to take up the cross and follow Him (Mark 10:21). The cross Jesus speaks of is the crucified life. Scripture shows what this means in Romans chapter six. It explains what this crucified life is and how it is achieved. It is the putting away of self, death to self, so that you are free to believe God and follow Jesus according to every word of God (Matthew 4:4).
This young man had spent his life eating from the tree of good and evil. He was eating fruit from the good of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so he felt he did not need to do what Jesus said, for him to gain eternal life. All his works were good (in man’s eyes). But every word of Jesus is from the tree of life.
This young man was like many religious people in Christendom today, who pick and choose which words of Jesus they will follow,and which words they will not. There is only One source of life eternal, that is God through Jesus Christ, the Righteous. A church person or a non-church person are both called to dump all their good works or deeds and come and eat from the Tree of Life. “As all our righteousness are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) The young man did not do this;he continued on to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”(Acts 16:31).