It is bewildering, isn’t it, that more than two thousand years after the death of Jesus Christ, Christians continue to display dismal ignorance regarding the conditions for man to have eternal life. It follows then that Christians have not derived the necessary benefits from the Mission. The fact remains anyway that it was the events that happened in the Garden of Eden that necessitated the Mission of Jesus Christ. Christians must take note of the fact that Satan had his purpose for tempting Adam. Of course, he did not just stop at that. He took it upon himself to confuse the generality as to the true understanding of the events’ implications. To hit the nail on the head, Christians vehemently believe that the forbidden fruit was nothing other than sexual relations. This is strange because the Bible is quite explicit on this.
The Bible tells us the purpose for which the LORD GOD created man. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and overall the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26. It is noted worthy that following creating man, the Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ ” It is obvious from this passage that the LORD GOD accords priority to man producing and filling up the earth over man fulfilling his purpose in creation.
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The only natural way for husband and wife to be fruitful is to increase in number and contribute to filling the earth through sexual relations without any hindrance to procreation. That rules out an abortion, family planning, sexual relations between man and man, woman and another woman, and between human beings and animals. The abominable sexual practice by people described as gay cannot be from GOD. Otherwise, He would not have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire. If these were from GOD, then He would be acting against His own interest. Namely, that man should be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. The LORD GOD is not equivocal in any way. Also, there is no shred of evidence, however, that the LORD GOD imposed a moratorium or prohibited sexual activity between husband and wife at any point in time. On the contrary, the LORD GOD accorded priority to the sexual activity above everything else. What then was the forbidden fruit? We shall get to that in its good time.
We have now come to the important task we set for ourselves here: This is to establish the condition required for Adam and Eve to live in the Garden of GOD in Paradise. From there, we shall establish that it is the same condition Jesus Christ says we have to fulfill before we can enter into the kingdom of GOD. It follows then that nothing has changed. In fact, the LORD GOD does not change. He says: “I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6.
To start with, what we want to do is establish the Garden of Eden’s location. The Bible says: “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of GOD.” Revelation 2:7. Since the Garden of Eden is in the spiritual, Adam was therefore spirit.
The first thing we want to know respecting the trees is what life meant in the first tree and what death meant in that commandment to Adam in respect of the second tree. If Adam had eaten the fruit of the tree of life, he would not have died in the spiritual in the Garden of Eden. Rather, he would have lived forever. Something must be in that tree that would have given eternal life to Adam. Let us find it out.
What do we know about eternal life? Jesus Christ says: “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the SON to have life in Himself.” John 5:26. We know then that only the ALMIGHTY GOD is the source of eternal life. We can establish the following facts:
1. Eternal Life is inherent in the LORD GOD.
2. The LORD GOD grants eternal life. Otherwise, you can’t have it.
Also, Jesus Christ says in John 4:24 that the LORD GOD is Spirit. Also, Paul says: “For since the creation of GOD’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and Divine Nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20. Also, the Bible says: “We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true — even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true GOD and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20. We can then say of the LORD GOD that:
- GOD is Spirit GOD is Divine GOD is Eternal Life
- Respecting Adam,
- Adam in spirit + Fruit of life –> Eternal Life
- It becomes obvious then that the fruit of life is the Divine Nature of GOD.
- The meaning of this is that by eating the fruit of life, the LORD GOD becomes part of man. The spirit man becomes born of Spirit.
- Jesus Christ says the spirit of man is born of the Spirit of GOD. John 3:5&6.
- Peter says that we participate in the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4
- Paul says that we each become a temple of the Living GOD. 2 Corinthians 6:16.
- Therefore, life in the first fruit means Eternal Life with the LORD GOD or, in other words, life in the kingdom of GOD.
The second tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The LORD GOD commanded Adam not to eat from this tree or else he would die. It seems this tree was the converse of the former one. The one gives life; the other brings death. Let us remind ourselves that we have just established that Adam was in spirit existence in the Garden of Eden. For Adam, activity in spirit existence was life with the LORD GOD. Death in the commandment meant death or the end of activity in the spirit existence with the LORD GOD. This resulted in life with Satan in the physical nature of flesh and blood, a life doomed for destruction. Let us draw conclusions that are parallel to those we arrived at regarding the fruit of life.
Adam in the spirit + Fruit of knowledge of good and evil –> Life in flesh and blood in the world Satan Also rules, by eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, Satan became part of man. By eating it, a man was born of Satan, the first birth.
The next thing we want to know about the two trees is what each represented. The tree of life represented life in the spiritual and partaking in Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:4), which would result in eternal life. The converse of that, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, represented death in the spiritual and total exclusion from Divine Nature and eternal life.
The third thing we want to know about these two special trees is their point of difference. The second tree should provide us with a clue, as it was descriptive enough. This tree provided personal knowledge. We have already established the fact that these two trees were the converse of one another. If the tree that provided personal knowledge of good and evil was satanic and meant spiritual death, the converse of that, the tree of life, was for divine knowledge of good and evil besides eternal life.
We can now sum everything up and say that if Adam had eaten the fruit of the tree of life, he would have embraced Divine Nature and thereby allowed the Spirit of the LORD GOD to endow him with the knowledge of good and evil and influence his decisions in choosing good or evil. The consequence of this would have been unity and eternal life in the spiritual with the LORD GOD. On the other hand, Adam ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and gained instant knowledge of the total exclusion of the LORD GOD influence. This was a rejection of Divine Nature and eternal life. All of these resulted in unity with Satan in flesh and blood in the domain of Satan.
From what we have been saying about the trees, we can establish the conditions man has to fulfill to have Eternal Life. Really and truly, there are only two: 1. Man must have an active life in the spiritual. 2. Man must participate in the Divine Nature. Obviously, eternal life is a spiritual affair. As has been established, death in that commandment to Adam was death to eternal life in the spiritual. Sadly, it follows that man is flesh and blood remains dead to the process of eternal life. Therefore, eternal life is out of consideration for man in flesh and blood. The Bible says: “I declare to you brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” 1 Corinthians 15:50. But there is still hope for rectification for man. The sole purpose of the Mission of Jesus Christ is to revive man in the spirit and, all other things being equal, come to eternal life.
THE REASON WHY ADAM DIED IN THE GARDEN
In complete disregard of what the Bible says, many are always too ready to say that Adam died in the Garden of Eden because he disobeyed. But this is what the Bible says: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will look at of it all the days of your life…..Genesis 3:17-19.
However, regarding the death in the Garden or the banishment, this is what the Bible says: “And the LORD GOD said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and also take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’ So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” Genesis 3:22&23. It becomes crystal clear that Adam had to die in the Garden of Eden because he possessed personal and not divine knowledge of good and evil. Personal knowledge of good and evil leads to self-righteousness. On the other hand, divine knowledge of good and evil leads to the righteousness of GOD. We shall now show from the Bible that this is the same as the teaching of Jesus Christ.
THE CONDITION SET BY JESUS CHRIST.
Jesus Christ says: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20. The Bible says in Philippians 3:6 that a Pharisee is faultless in his observance of the law. In this regard, the Pharisees were the limit of human achievement. The righteousness that will surpass that is the righteousness of GOD. Jesus Christ also says: “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:26&27.
On his part, Paul says: “By this Gospel, you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:2. Part of his teaching is: “But now a righteousness from God apart from law has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21&22. We shall have time to elaborate on the testimony of the Law and the Prophets on another occasion. For now, it is sufficient to know that the Law refers to the Books of Moses and the Psalms.
It follows then that your belief in Jesus Christ must earn for you the righteousness of GOD. If it doesn’t, Jesus says you are a foolish builder. Paul says that you have believed in vain. This is the same condition that would have resulted had Adam eaten the fruit of life. The LORD GOD does not change. As the condition for man to have eternal life was in the beginning, so it is now and forevermore shall it be. Q.E.D.
Given this, it is most curious that the importance and the significance of the tree of life have not been properly grasped or evaluated by most Christians. For man, eating the fruit of the tree of life is the sine qua non for eternal life in the kingdom of GOD. This means that part of the LORD GOD would become part of man. As it was for Adam in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, so it is still for us today, and forevermore shall it be. In its good time, we shall duly explain in full how Jesus Christ has come into the show.
The man now lives in flesh and blood without any opportunity for eternal life. It is unfortunate that in ignorance, Christians still nurse the hope that by their obedience to the law and strict adherence to their lists of dos and don’ts, they shall be righteous enough to enter into the kingdom of GOD. Surely, they shall find themselves in fool’s paradise.
The Bible says: “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Galatians 5:4. We shall explain in detail the grace of salvation later. “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ ” Galatians 3:11. That the righteous will live by faith was in fact prophesied by Habakkuk: “But the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4
The Bible tells us about Noah: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with GOD.” Genesis 6:9. Noah, of course, had no access to divine knowledge of good and evil. He inherited, as we all do, personal knowledge from Adam. As we have shown from the Bible, that is incompatible with life in the kingdom of GOD. We must have the righteousness of GOD.
Due to Adam’s death in the Garden of Eden, the fruit of the tree of life is no more accessible to man. Jesus Christ says: “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5. This is a technical language for the practical details. Baptism in water, when properly done, unites one with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection. Romans 6:3-10; Colossians 2:12. That one is born of water. Jesus Christ resurrected into the Spiritual. Being born of water implies forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with the Father, and a come back to life in the spiritual. One can now be born of the Spirit or led by the Spirit to do the will of GOD. That one has eaten the fruit of a life which Adam did not eat. Nothing has changed.
It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of these two trees. Immediately after the creation of man, the issue that confronted him was that of the two trees in the Garden’s middle. It is not by coincidence that the Bible ends on the issue of the fruit of life. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. The Book of Revelation is highly symbolical: Washing of robes is baptism in water, and the city is, of course, the Kingdom of GOD. Therefore, we shall give the trees the attention they deserve by going over that aspect at the next opportunity. All the same, let us summarize what has been presented here.
The Garden of Eden was in Paradise. Rev. 2:7. Therefore, Adam was a spirit. He was passive in his physical nature of flesh and blood. The two fruits were the opposite of one another.
THE FRUIT OF LIFE
1 This fruit was the Divine Nature of GOD.
2. Life here meant eternal life in the spiritual nature.
3. If Adam had eaten it, part of the LORD GOD would become part of the spirit man leading to unity.
4. In that case, a man in his spirit nature, is born of the Spirit of GOD. (This will now happen only after man has been revived in his spirit through Jesus Christ. Then a man is born again, born the second time.)
5. Man active in his spirit nature, is led by the Spirit of God to do God’s will and have the righteousness of GOD. The same condition Jesus Christ advocates.
THE FRUIT OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL
1. This fruit was satanic in nature.
2. Death in the commandment meant death in the spirit nature resulting in life in flesh and blood. Also, it was death to eternal life.
3. Adam ate this, and part of Satan became part of man in flesh and blood. This led to unity between Satan and man.
4. Man is born of Satan: the first birth.
5. Man active in his physical nature of flesh and blood does his own will. His obedience to the law, as well as his list of dos and don’ts, earn for his self-righteousness—the same as the righteousness of the Pharisee and the teachers of the law.