UA-124795892-1

Trees in God's Garden

Genesis 2: 8-9:

"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

In the garden God planted all manner of trees that were good for food, and the man and woman were free to eat of all of the trees except one: The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating a piece of fruit in itself was not the sin, but rather the tree represented a reality that to eat of this tree there would be death. At the beginning of man's existence, we read in Genesis 2:9 that Adam was in a relationship with three types of trees:

Ÿ Tree of Life - could be eaten

Ÿ Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - told not to eat or would die

Ÿ All the trees in the garden of other kinds - could be eaten

All of the trees that God grew which were pleasant to the sight and good for food were acceptable for man to eat from. Notice "pleasant to the sight" was a factor man was to use to determine if the fruit of the tree would be good for food? In the midst of all of these trees were also the Tree of Life which could be eaten from, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which was forbidden to eat of its fruit.

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely (as much as you want you may participate, enjoying what you taste) eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (or begin dying)" (Genesis 2:16-17).

On one hand we have a grove full of a variety of trees that man could freely eat from utilizing his sight to determine which fruit to eat. On the other hand we have two trees that are optional that man had access to: One that carried the fruit of life and one that produced death.

All the trees in the garden were distinct from both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life was NOT the same nature as all the other trees that God allowed man to partake of as food. Likewise, neither was the Tree of Knowledge. There was something about the Tree of Knowledge that was more than "pleasant to the sight and good for food," that if the fruit were eaten there would be death.

Man was placed in the garden by God before these three kinds of trees, and his whole life was depicted as a matter of feasting on one tree of another. How man would live and walk was dependent upon his relationship with ALL of the trees in the garden. Let's read again:

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely (as much as you want you may participate, enjoying what you taste) eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (or begin dying)" (Genesis 2:16-17).

In the past, theologians have illustrated these Scriptures as a man and woman walking naked in the midst of a beautiful garden full of lush vegetation, streams of water, loving animals roaming around, and a huge, healthy trees growing with a variety of tempting fruit to eat. Somewhere in the middle of this garden there were two trees that were unique in appearance from all the other trees that the man and woman would know which one was the Tree of Life and which one was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

My personal vision had often pictured the Tree of Life as unique with a root system at the base of the tree not going into the ground, and its appearance subtly shimmering in light that came from within the trunk and branches. The Tree of Knowledge I would picture as having a root system likened to all the other trees, but it too had some kind of unique glow or aura around it that would draw attention and interest. Where the Tree of Life was receiving its radiance from the heavenly atmosphere of moisture in the air, the Tree of Knowledge was glowing because it was feeding off the earthly nutrients that were radioactive. Today we know that radioactive materials can have life or death substance in them, but at this time in the garden I would picture the couple not even understanding what "life or death" meant since they had not been exposed to it. Therefore, they were dependent up what they thought was "pleasant to the sight and good for food."

So what does the Bible tell us about trees? When we read Ezekiel 31 we will find that when the word "trees" are used that Scripture it is not referring to bulk trees in a forest or grove somewhere with fruit hanging on it. Trees in Scripture are representative of people; even in the garden of God called Eden (Ezek. 31:18). Scripture is full of the mysteries of God, and this is one of them. Let's read Ezek 31:14-17:

"To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen."

In the beginning "the earth was without form, and void" (Gen. 1:2). What caused the earth to become void was the fall of man. Man lost his glory when he went down into the pit (Ezek. 31:16). When we understand the symbolism of trees referring to people, included in all the trees in God's garden were the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Here, when God is describing something using the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel, He uses a language that is symbolic telling Ezekiel, "Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; whom art thou like in thy greatness? Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs" (Ezek. 31:2-3). It is all symbolic describing people. Included in the midst of all these people (trees) was the Tree of Life (Christ Life) and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Ego). These two trees were in the world, but not of the world of all the other trees.

The Tree of Life was accessible to man to eat of its fruit anytime he wished. It was heavens own divine life brought into man's world and made available to him. In the Tree of Life, man was given the divine source of all life to eat freely of. His relationship with God determined how often he ate from this tree. With the Tree of Life, God invited man to find Him as the source and center of divine Life, and in this union with God, man would be at once both an indwelling power of life in the environment in which man would live (the natural and divine together at once). Man would be a heavenly spirit shining in the image of God while living on the earth. This life would radiate from man as it did from Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. "And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering" (Luke 9"29).

God gave man the power of LIFE in this tree also known as Christ. Man had access to eat the fruit of this tree freely which would allow him to function in the celestial realm while walking on this earth radiating in all of God's glory. Heavens doors would be opened allowing man to move and talk in the power of the Almighty raising man up from any possibility of sin, corruption, or even death into the uncorrupted power of God as demonstrated by Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead in a body of glorification.

Eating from the Tree of Life was more than just eating a piece of fruit from a tree. This tree represented a tangible heavenly realm called Christ with the power of an endless life; a celestial life allowing man to have access in a tangible form of heavenly things while in a natural world. The power and wisdom of God would be wide open to man allowing him to walk in the presence and glory of God while on the earth. The heavens (mind of Christ) would be opened to man without a conflicting battlefield of man's own logic and understanding. Man would walk and talk in the power of the Almighty.

Scripture directs us to Melchisedec as a person with the power of an endless life; who had neither beginning of days nor end of life (Heb. 7:16); who abides as a priest continually (Heb. 7:3); he liveth (Heb. 7:8). One of the chief signs of the Order of Melchisedec is LIFE. The Tree of Life represents a people of a particular order, or class of trees, that man was banished from when he partook of the Tree of Knowledge. God placed cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the entrance to Eden and access to the Tree of Life. In man's unclean state he could not partake of the Tree of Life or be a part of the Order of Melchisedec. This order (rank, class of trees) has been kept secret, un-touched, for thousands of years until another priest came into existence after the Order of Melchisedec, Jesus Christ, to clear the way for man to partake of this glorious life (Heb. 5:10).

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

The man that stood in front of Abraham in Genesis 14, Melchisedec, can not die. He is a priest continually…he liveth (Heb. 7). He is a man of a righteous order that has been there from the beginning. If we were born from above we came from priesthood, a lineage that has no beginning of days, or end of life. This has nothing to do with our earthly parents. This priesthood has always been there in the garden, but access had been guarded. Jesus Christ came after the Order of Melchisedec to open the guarded entrance for us to enter into the garden of God and partake of the fruit from the Tree of Life.

Before man had to leave the Garden of Eden, God gave permission to eat of ALL the trees in the garden including the Egyptians and Assyrians. He gave man the option to eat of the Tree of Life, but if the Tree of Knowledge was eaten, man would know "evil" and its opposite "good" bringing "judgment and death" into existence. God is the creator of all things including evil. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). Man was allowed to eat from what was "pleasant to the sight," as long as it was being viewed through the Tree of Life. By eating of the Tree of Knowledge, man's judgments of what would be considered "pleasant to the sight" would be determined by "good and evil" instead of the fruit of the Spirit which is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance" (Gal. 5:22-23). When we begin to separate "this is good" and "this is evil" we participate in a Knowledge that has no life in it; it is critical based upon the opinions of man instead of LIFE.

In the midst of all the trees (people), God placed the Tree of Life (Divinity, Christ Life) upon the earth. This tree is in the world, but not of the world (John 15:19). It was given to allow man the opportunity to rise above the other trees and see from the eyes of God versus whether something was "good or evil."

When man ate of the Tree of Knowledge, he fell into a certain knowledge judging the other trees (people) and separating himself from partaking of the Divine Life that was right in front of him. The Tree of Knowledge utilizes the remembrance of the past to justify the future. It renounces the fact that TODAY is the day of Lord (2 Cor. 1:14), and we are all children of the Most High God (Psalms 82:6). When we separate "this is good" and "this is evil" we participate in a knowledge that has no life in it but the opinion of man.

In Genesis 3:11when God said, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam's response was not simply, "yes, I ate from that tree." Instead, he told God, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12). Now we know that God already knew the truth of what the man and woman did, but like any parent confronting their child's misbehavior, God played along by saying to the woman, "What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13).

Notice that the "finger pointing" stopped with the serpent? The word "serpent" is the Hebrew word "nachesh" which means a "hissing creature." First of all, never in the creation of man have we known animals to be able to intellectually create and communicated by "words" with man as their natural attribute. For us to think that there was a snake in a tree that could communicate with "words" is simply revealing the level of man's ignorance.

Just as the trees in the garden were symbolic of people, so was the voice that the woman heard coming from the Tree of Knowledge. I repeat, the word "serpent" is used to represent a "hissing creature" which the dictionary defines as the drawing of the "s" sound from "his" to declare disapproval and separation. The phrase "he said" (Gen 3:1) came from the mind of man lowered from Divine identity to the level of the animal kingdom. This phrase is the Hebrew word "amar" which means to say, speak, utter, tell, declare, name, to say in the heart, to think, the creative character of God's word spoken into existence.

When the woman said "the serpent beguiled me," she was not communicating with a literal snake, but the creative power of thoughts and words that were in existence coming from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Where did these thoughts originate? I believe the answer can be found in Scripture where we read, "and he said unto the woman" (Gen. 3:1); then in verse 6 it says, "and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." The man that God created was with the woman the whole time. It was to the man that God told not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). It was man who was created after the image of God having the ability to create anything using the power of words. The woman was communicating with the voice of the deceiver that came from man disguised as a serpent. For this reason, man did not question or stop the woman from eating of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge because he had already justified in his own heart the "goodness" that would come by eating of it. "And the serpent (mind of man) said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4-5).

Before sin entered into creation, mankind had the ability to partake in all the trees in the garden of God, however, as they ate of the many different fruits from the many different trees, they were not to look for evil. If they did, they would automatically look for "good." This separation of what is good and what is evil was a knowledge that was not to be part of the garden of God. After mankind disobeyed God, to keep them from being in an eternal state of judgment and condemnation, God in His mercy placed cherubim all around the Tree of Life protecting the TRUTH to make sure mankind had to go through the purifying fire called the "flaming sword" of God's WORD.

Today we are able to participate in the Tree of Life because Jesus Christ, as both man and God, overcame death, hell, and the grave giving all of mankind the inheritance of resurrected life (2 Cor. 5:15). In Christ Jesus we have been brought back into the garden of God. We now have the ability to eat of the Tree of Life 24/7 receiving His divine power and grace as we partake of the life of Christ Jesus after the Order of Melchisedec with the power of an endless life. According to God's word, this man Melchisedec is a people that can not die, but lives continuously. The details of how or where these people are in this world are wisdom that only God can provide.

Mankind's choice is not whether to be a sinner or saint; whether to go to heaven or hell; or even to chose to be a Christian or non-Christian. Jesus Christ redeemed all mankind from the penalty of sin. He paid the price by being crucified on the Tree of Knowledge removing ALL power and authority that this tree could produce. It was cursed by the spoken word of God to forever by removed. There is no more debt. The heavens are open for humanity to receive the inheritance of an endless life today while in their natural body just as the time before mankind ate of the Tree of Knowledge. This is the good news that was preached throughout the New Testament. This is the mystery of God that all of the disciples, including Paul, were martyred for. "And the graves were opened; and many bodies (not just spirits) of the saints which slept arose, came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 27:52-53).

The only existence today of the influence the Tree of Knowledge once had is in the creative ability of our imagination. From God's view, there is no more curse, no more Tree of Knowledge. The weapon mankind is to use for warfare is "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5); "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I (Paul) press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14).

Romans 6:1-12 Amplified:

"WHAT SHALL we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God's grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]. We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions."

Philippians 3:6-11 Amplified:

"As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me. But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]."

The Order of Melchisedec testifies to us that there are a people alive today living an endless life. We must be careful not to get technical or analytical, but receive the wisdom of God according to His Divine understanding of what this means. It is a life that is more than the Levitical or the Aaronic priesthood. It is established, yet uncomprehendable to our intellectual understanding. It is a priesthood continually abiding forever.

Jesus was able to say "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). We can not remember being born because we were not born. We have always been a part of a priesthood, the Tree of Life. God gave us the Scriptures to reveal a secret about ourselves that has been tucked away and hidden in the Tree of Life. This Tree is the Divine person called Christ whom Jesus Christ is the head and we are the body of (Col. 1:18). "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Col. 2:8-10:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

1 John 4:16-17:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love (unconditional, agape love); and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."

This priesthood has the power of an endless life. Scripture tells us in Romans 8:11 (Amplified Bible), "And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you." The problem we have is an "imaginative" veil that crosses over the mind of the people. We spend so much energy eating with the other "trees," which is not bad, but it does not remove the veil of man's reasoning that allows us to partake of the celestial life that is in the midst of us, allowing what may seem to be impossible to the hearts of man to be manifested as the will of God.

The natural mind of man can not understand that God would put a celestial tree in the middle of His garden (within man's heart) called LIFE that has nothing to do with intellect, calculations, reason, opinions, or logic. Eating from the "tree" produces only one thing: THE MANIFESTED LIFE OF CHRIST. This tree is the open heaven, divine wisdom, secrets that have been hidden that manifest the impossible into the possible. This tree can not be understood by reasoning from the Tree of Knowledge. Reason does not comprehend that the man from Genesis 14, Melchisedec is still alive today. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death" (John 8:51). Logic mixed with the environment of intellect can not comprehend what Jesus was saying. Unfortunately, many will try to take of the Tree of Life with the imagination of knowledge producing death.

In Christ Jesus, after the Order of Melchisedec, there is no sin. It's not that sin and corruption does not exist, but within this order that is above sin, there is no sin (Romans 8:1). We have received by the grace of God a ministry, a priesthood, making judgments according to what we do. However, most people disqualify themselves by condemnation of right or wrong instead of dying to self and living unto Christ (Galatians 2:20). It is not a matter of being enticed by sin, but by believing in sin we give way allowing sin to have power via enticing and temptation.

The more we participate eating of the Tree of Life that is in the midst of us, the more we will be overcomers. "He, who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7 Amplified Bible). This is not "someday when you get to heaven," but the blessings of God that we have access to eat from today. Week after week God is feeding believers from the Tree of Life forcing the powers of death to loosen their grip. Today, newborn babies don't know anything about death or sin. They have to be taught. It is the responsibility of believers to open their hearts, disassemble the old way of thinking, and be re-taught by the Holy Spirit that God has brought us into a different kind of priesthood. At the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we became partakers of a different tree that was not available to the Levitical and Aaronic priesthood.

Reality is: Jesus Christ is the Vine; we are the branches in the garden of God.

In Isaiah 41:18-20 we read:

"I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."

Trees are symbolic of humanity which is made out of wood. In Scripture wood always is symbolic of mankind. They represent kings, kingdoms, nations, leaders, the church, individuals, the Tree of Life (vine and branches), and the body of Christ.

The Shittah Tree, also known as "Acacias," is a hardwood which repels insects. It is a very beautiful wood used to build the Ark of the Covenant. Symbolically, it is not susceptible to demons or darkness. A tree that signifies the glory of God; His presence.

The Cedar Tree is one that is firm, strong, tenacious, and rooted. It does not easily decay. The size of this tree speaks of great statue among the other trees for it grows 120 feet high and 40 feet around. Unmovable; faithful to God.

The Myrtle Tree is symbolic of sweetness and beauty.

The Oil Tree is symbolic of olives that are eatable. This tree is filled with medicinal character oozing with a healing richness and an anointing that flows to others. People are able to be blessed from the excess of anointing from this tree just by being in its presence.

The Fir Tree or Cypress Tree is the largest of the pines. This tree was used for making musical instruments for worship. It is symbolic of great statue and nobility; a people that worship God in Spirit and Truth.

The Pine Tree was known for its lasting endurance; able to withstand all kinds of weather. This tree was durable and dependable. A people that stay strong and full of joy as they overcome obstacles in life.

The Box Tree comes from the root meaning characterized by standing upright; high and erected. It did not change in appearance as it grew. This tree was strong, honest, and prosperous; a wood that was good to build with. Not unstable, but what you saw is what you received. They don't talk with a double mind. People that you can have rightful, righteous relationships with.

We read in Isaiah 60:13, 15, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious…Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations."

When God reveals to us in Scripture the symbolic mystery of trees coming together we understand that He is not talking about a literal forest of trees, but a corporate people that make up His body.

In Proverbs 3:13-18 we read that the Tree of Life is Wisdom:

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

Proverbs 11:30 in the Amplified says, "The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men--he gathers and receives them for eternity]."

The Tree of Life is an answer to what is desired or prayed (Proverbs 13:12). People that have prayed and withstood the natural obstacles by faith eating from the fruit of righteousness receive the blessing of the Divine Wisdom of God.

Proverbs 15:4 in the Amplified says, "A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life." People that take what is wicked (negative, controversial, good and evil), and convert those words into wholesome life, love, and light.

Isaiah 55:8-13:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Psalm 104:16, "The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted."

Song of Solomon 2:3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."

Isaiah 61:3 Amplified, "To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty (life) instead of ashes (death), the oil of joy (anointing) instead of mourning (sorrow), the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks (trees) of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."

Ezekiel 17:24 Amplified, "And all the trees of the field shall know (understand and realize) that I the Lord have brought low the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it." Trees (people) will come to have knowledge of the ways of God.

The Lord says in Hosea 14:4-9:

"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols (trees that judges, separates, and brings division to the body of Christ)? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."

Matthew 12:13, "the tree is known by his fruit."

Matthew 13:31-32, "the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."

Acts 10:39, "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree."

Jesus died for ALL the trees.

Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

Mark 8:24 (Amplified Bible), "And he looked up and said, I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking."

Revelation 22:1-5 (The Message):

"Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service-worshiping, they'll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age."

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

When God is talking trees in Scripture He is not referring to what we see in the forest, but humanity. Today, we are the Garden of God, and we are the branch of the Tree of Life in Christ Jesus. This truth must be what we partake of and what we eat daily so that the resurrection power of Christ within us will be manifested filling the earth with the glory of God.

Colossians 1:24-28 (Amplified Bible):

"[Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. In it I became a minister in accordance with the divine stewardship which was entrusted to me for you [as its object and for your benefit], to make the Word of God fully known [among you]--The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints),to whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory. Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One)."

Every person is a part of a grove, a part of a tree. God's word has not changed from Genesis to Revelation. He declared that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. His word will not return void but will accomplish what He sent (Isa. 55:11). He gave permission to eat of ALL of the trees of the garden (Gen. 2:16). He places the Tree of Life to eat from in the midst of the garden (our heart) for mankind to eat of also (Gen. 2:9). The only Tree that God commanded for mankind to NOT eat from was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was the only tree that could produce death.

The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the flaming sword that once guarded the entrance into the garden of God, now paves the way to the Tree of Life, established once and for ALL for the price of sin was paid completely. In Christ Jesus we are able to eat of all the beauty humanity gives us. We don't have to be religious or isolated. All that God gave humanity He said was good and eatable. Everything in this natural world is affected and completely dependent in the balancing of how we see the trees (people) in God's garden.

When we stand upright in righteousness because we have eaten from the Tree of Life the atmosphere around us begins to harmonize with LIFE. The earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, droughts, etc. are all manifestations of the changes God is making in His garden. He is bringing forth the righteousness in each of us, coming together as one corporate garden or body of Christ: the cedar trees, box trees, myrtle trees, olive trees, oak trees, pine trees, cypress trees, Shittah trees, etc. Each of these trees have a portion of His fruit, His blessing, His prosperity that when combined with the fruit of the Tree of Life (mind of Christ) becomes a manifestation of the glory of God filling the earth today.

We were born from a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec which declares an endless life. It is the order of Jesus Christ. In truth, wherever we are IS the paradise of God. The condition of our heart and mind is His garden. We are His trees in His garden. He is the vine, we are the branches. This is not about some bush or mysterious place called heaven. The Tree of Life is alive today within each of us. We will know the tree by its fruit, not by intellect or reason. The fruit of everlasting life in Christ Jesus is who we are.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" Rev. 2:7…

Verses 11-17Amplified:

"He who is unrighteous (unjust, wicked), let him be unrighteous still; and he who is filthy (vile, impure), let him be filthy still; and he who is righteous (just, upright, in right standing with God), let him do right still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still. Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all). Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city. [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating). I, Jesus, have sent My messenger (angel) to you to witness and to give you assurance of these things for the churches (assemblies). I am the Root (the Source) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star. The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost."

This truth must become what we partake of and what we eat, the endeavor of what we pursue: We are the garden of God and we are the corporate body of the Tree of Life in Christ Jesus connected to the order of an endless life. We do not have to eat of the Tree of Knowledge which results in sickness, decay, and death. God's word will not return void…those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit of God is saying that will seem foolish to the natural man. All that God gave man in the beginning we can partake of NOW in Christ Jesus after the order of Melchisedec; the order of an endless life.

God gave us freedom to eat of all the trees in His garden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The way has been cleared by Jesus to eat of the Tree of Life continually reaping the inheritance of an endless life. Today we are the branches able to receive the nutition that flows from the root (Jesus Christ) to bring forth leaves that will heal and restore the nations (Rev. 22:2).

The Trees in God's Garden

Genesis 2: 8-9:

"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

In the garden God planted all manner of trees that were good for food, and the man and woman were free to eat of all of the trees except one: The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating a piece of fruit in itself was not the sin, but rather the tree represented a reality that to eat of this tree there would be death. At the beginning of man's existence, we read in Genesis 2:9 that Adam was in a relationship with three types of trees:

Ÿ Tree of Life - could be eaten

Ÿ Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - told not to eat or would die

Ÿ All the trees in the garden of other kinds - could be eaten

All of the trees that God grew which were pleasant to the sight and good for food were acceptable for man to eat from. Notice "pleasant to the sight" was a factor man was to use to determine if the fruit of the tree would be good for food? In the midst of all of these trees were also the Tree of Life which could be eaten from, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which was forbidden to eat of its fruit.

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely (as much as you want you may participate, enjoying what you taste) eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (or begin dying)" (Genesis 2:16-17).

On one hand we have a grove full of a variety of trees that man could freely eat from utilizing his sight to determine which fruit to eat. On the other hand we have two trees that are optional that man had access to: One that carried the fruit of life and one that produced death.

All the trees in the garden were distinct from both the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life was NOT the same nature as all the other trees that God allowed man to partake of as food. Likewise, neither was the Tree of Knowledge. There was something about the Tree of Knowledge that was more than "pleasant to the sight and good for food," that if the fruit were eaten there would be death.

Man was placed in the garden by God before these three kinds of trees, and his whole life was depicted as a matter of feasting on one tree of another. How man would live and walk was dependent upon his relationship with ALL of the trees in the garden. Let's read again:

"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely (as much as you want you may participate, enjoying what you taste) eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (or begin dying)" (Genesis 2:16-17).

In the past, theologians have illustrated these Scriptures as a man and woman walking naked in the midst of a beautiful garden full of lush vegetation, streams of water, loving animals roaming around, and a huge, healthy trees growing with a variety of tempting fruit to eat. Somewhere in the middle of this garden there were two trees that were unique in appearance from all the other trees that the man and woman would know which one was the Tree of Life and which one was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

My personal vision had often pictured the Tree of Life as unique with a root system at the base of the tree not going into the ground, and its appearance subtly shimmering in light that came from within the trunk and branches. The Tree of Knowledge I would picture as having a root system likened to all the other trees, but it too had some kind of unique glow or aura around it that would draw attention and interest. Where the Tree of Life was receiving its radiance from the heavenly atmosphere of moisture in the air, the Tree of Knowledge was glowing because it was feeding off the earthly nutrients that were radioactive. Today we know that radioactive materials can have life or death substance in them, but at this time in the garden I would picture the couple not even understanding what "life or death" meant since they had not been exposed to it. Therefore, they were dependent up what they thought was "pleasant to the sight and good for food."

So what does the Bible tell us about trees? When we read Ezekiel 31 we will find that when the word "trees" are used that Scripture it is not referring to bulk trees in a forest or grove somewhere with fruit hanging on it. Trees in Scripture are representative of people; even in the garden of God called Eden (Ezek. 31:18). Scripture is full of the mysteries of God, and this is one of them. Let's read Ezek 31:14-17:

"To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen."

In the beginning "the earth was without form, and void" (Gen. 1:2). What caused the earth to become void was the fall of man. Man lost his glory when he went down into the pit (Ezek. 31:16). When we understand the symbolism of trees referring to people, included in all the trees in God's garden were the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Here, when God is describing something using the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel, He uses a language that is symbolic telling Ezekiel, "Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; whom art thou like in thy greatness? Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs" (Ezek. 31:2-3). It is all symbolic describing people. Included in the midst of all these people (trees) was the Tree of Life (Christ Life) and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Ego). These two trees were in the world, but not of the world of all the other trees.

The Tree of Life was accessible to man to eat of its fruit anytime he wished. It was heavens own divine life brought into man's world and made available to him. In the Tree of Life, man was given the divine source of all life to eat freely of. His relationship with God determined how often he ate from this tree. With the Tree of Life, God invited man to find Him as the source and center of divine Life, and in this union with God, man would be at once both an indwelling power of life in the environment in which man would live (the natural and divine together at once). Man would be a heavenly spirit shining in the image of God while living on the earth. This life would radiate from man as it did from Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. "And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering" (Luke 9"29).

God gave man the power of LIFE in this tree also known as Christ. Man had access to eat the fruit of this tree freely which would allow him to function in the celestial realm while walking on this earth radiating in all of God's glory. Heavens doors would be opened allowing man to move and talk in the power of the Almighty raising man up from any possibility of sin, corruption, or even death into the uncorrupted power of God as demonstrated by Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead in a body of glorification.

Eating from the Tree of Life was more than just eating a piece of fruit from a tree. This tree represented a tangible heavenly realm called Christ with the power of an endless life; a celestial life allowing man to have access in a tangible form of heavenly things while in a natural world. The power and wisdom of God would be wide open to man allowing him to walk in the presence and glory of God while on the earth. The heavens (mind of Christ) would be opened to man without a conflicting battlefield of man's own logic and understanding. Man would walk and talk in the power of the Almighty.

Scripture directs us to Melchisedec as a person with the power of an endless life; who had neither beginning of days nor end of life (Heb. 7:16); who abides as a priest continually (Heb. 7:3); he liveth (Heb. 7:8). One of the chief signs of the Order of Melchisedec is LIFE. The Tree of Life represents a people of a particular order, or class of trees, that man was banished from when he partook of the Tree of Knowledge. God placed cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the entrance to Eden and access to the Tree of Life. In man's unclean state he could not partake of the Tree of Life or be a part of the Order of Melchisedec. This order (rank, class of trees) has been kept secret, un-touched, for thousands of years until another priest came into existence after the Order of Melchisedec, Jesus Christ, to clear the way for man to partake of this glorious life (Heb. 5:10).

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

The man that stood in front of Abraham in Genesis 14, Melchisedec, can not die. He is a priest continually…he liveth (Heb. 7). He is a man of a righteous order that has been there from the beginning. If we were born from above we came from priesthood, a lineage that has no beginning of days, or end of life. This has nothing to do with our earthly parents. This priesthood has always been there in the garden, but access had been guarded. Jesus Christ came after the Order of Melchisedec to open the guarded entrance for us to enter into the garden of God and partake of the fruit from the Tree of Life.

Before man had to leave the Garden of Eden, God gave permission to eat of ALL the trees in the garden including the Egyptians and Assyrians. He gave man the option to eat of the Tree of Life, but if the Tree of Knowledge was eaten, man would know "evil" and its opposite "good" bringing "judgment and death" into existence. God is the creator of all things including evil. "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (Isaiah 45:7). Man was allowed to eat from what was "pleasant to the sight," as long as it was being viewed through the Tree of Life. By eating of the Tree of Knowledge, man's judgments of what would be considered "pleasant to the sight" would be determined by "good and evil" instead of the fruit of the Spirit which is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance" (Gal. 5:22-23). When we begin to separate "this is good" and "this is evil" we participate in a Knowledge that has no life in it; it is critical based upon the opinions of man instead of LIFE.

In the midst of all the trees (people), God placed the Tree of Life (Divinity, Christ Life) upon the earth. This tree is in the world, but not of the world (John 15:19). It was given to allow man the opportunity to rise above the other trees and see from the eyes of God versus whether something was "good or evil."

When man ate of the Tree of Knowledge, he fell into a certain knowledge judging the other trees (people) and separating himself from partaking of the Divine Life that was right in front of him. The Tree of Knowledge utilizes the remembrance of the past to justify the future. It renounces the fact that TODAY is the day of Lord (2 Cor. 1:14), and we are all children of the Most High God (Psalms 82:6). When we separate "this is good" and "this is evil" we participate in a knowledge that has no life in it but the opinion of man.

In Genesis 3:11when God said, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam's response was not simply, "yes, I ate from that tree." Instead, he told God, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12). Now we know that God already knew the truth of what the man and woman did, but like any parent confronting their child's misbehavior, God played along by saying to the woman, "What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13).

Notice that the "finger pointing" stopped with the serpent? The word "serpent" is the Hebrew word "nachesh" which means a "hissing creature." First of all, never in the creation of man have we known animals to be able to intellectually create and communicated by "words" with man as their natural attribute. For us to think that there was a snake in a tree that could communicate with "words" is simply revealing the level of man's ignorance.

Just as the trees in the garden were symbolic of people, so was the voice that the woman heard coming from the Tree of Knowledge. I repeat, the word "serpent" is used to represent a "hissing creature" which the dictionary defines as the drawing of the "s" sound from "his" to declare disapproval and separation. The phrase "he said" (Gen 3:1) came from the mind of man lowered from Divine identity to the level of the animal kingdom. This phrase is the Hebrew word "amar" which means to say, speak, utter, tell, declare, name, to say in the heart, to think, the creative character of God's word spoken into existence.

When the woman said "the serpent beguiled me," she was not communicating with a literal snake, but the creative power of thoughts and words that were in existence coming from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Where did these thoughts originate? I believe the answer can be found in Scripture where we read, "and he said unto the woman" (Gen. 3:1); then in verse 6 it says, "and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." The man that God created was with the woman the whole time. It was to the man that God told not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). It was man who was created after the image of God having the ability to create anything using the power of words. The woman was communicating with the voice of the deceiver that came from man disguised as a serpent. For this reason, man did not question or stop the woman from eating of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge because he had already justified in his own heart the "goodness" that would come by eating of it. "And the serpent (mind of man) said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4-5).

Before sin entered into creation, mankind had the ability to partake in all the trees in the garden of God, however, as they ate of the many different fruits from the many different trees, they were not to look for evil. If they did, they would automatically look for "good." This separation of what is good and what is evil was a knowledge that was not to be part of the garden of God. After mankind disobeyed God, to keep them from being in an eternal state of judgment and condemnation, God in His mercy placed cherubim all around the Tree of Life protecting the TRUTH to make sure mankind had to go through the purifying fire called the "flaming sword" of God's WORD.

Today we are able to participate in the Tree of Life because Jesus Christ, as both man and God, overcame death, hell, and the grave giving all of mankind the inheritance of resurrected life (2 Cor. 5:15). In Christ Jesus we have been brought back into the garden of God. We now have the ability to eat of the Tree of Life 24/7 receiving His divine power and grace as we partake of the life of Christ Jesus after the Order of Melchisedec with the power of an endless life. According to God's word, this man Melchisedec is a people that can not die, but lives continuously. The details of how or where these people are in this world are wisdom that only God can provide.

Mankind's choice is not whether to be a sinner or saint; whether to go to heaven or hell; or even to chose to be a Christian or non-Christian. Jesus Christ redeemed all mankind from the penalty of sin. He paid the price by being crucified on the Tree of Knowledge removing ALL power and authority that this tree could produce. It was cursed by the spoken word of God to forever by removed. There is no more debt. The heavens are open for humanity to receive the inheritance of an endless life today while in their natural body just as the time before mankind ate of the Tree of Knowledge. This is the good news that was preached throughout the New Testament. This is the mystery of God that all of the disciples, including Paul, were martyred for. "And the graves were opened; and many bodies (not just spirits) of the saints which slept arose, came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matt. 27:52-53).

The only existence today of the influence the Tree of Knowledge once had is in the creative ability of our imagination. From God's view, there is no more curse, no more Tree of Knowledge. The weapon mankind is to use for warfare is "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5); "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I (Paul) press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14).

Romans 6:1-12 Amplified:

"WHAT SHALL we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God's grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]. We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions."

Philippians 3:6-11 Amplified:

"As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me. But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]."

The Order of Melchisedec testifies to us that there are a people alive today living an endless life. We must be careful not to get technical or analytical, but receive the wisdom of God according to His Divine understanding of what this means. It is a life that is more than the Levitical or the Aaronic priesthood. It is established, yet uncomprehendable to our intellectual understanding. It is a priesthood continually abiding forever.

Jesus was able to say "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). We can not remember being born because we were not born. We have always been a part of a priesthood, the Tree of Life. God gave us the Scriptures to reveal a secret about ourselves that has been tucked away and hidden in the Tree of Life. This Tree is the Divine person called Christ whom Jesus Christ is the head and we are the body of (Col. 1:18). "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Col. 2:8-10:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

1 John 4:16-17:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love (unconditional, agape love); and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."

This priesthood has the power of an endless life. Scripture tells us in Romans 8:11 (Amplified Bible), "And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you." The problem we have is an "imaginative" veil that crosses over the mind of the people. We spend so much energy eating with the other "trees," which is not bad, but it does not remove the veil of man's reasoning that allows us to partake of the celestial life that is in the midst of us, allowing what may seem to be impossible to the hearts of man to be manifested as the will of God.

The natural mind of man can not understand that God would put a celestial tree in the middle of His garden (within man's heart) called LIFE that has nothing to do with intellect, calculations, reason, opinions, or logic. Eating from the "tree" produces only one thing: THE MANIFESTED LIFE OF CHRIST. This tree is the open heaven, divine wisdom, secrets that have been hidden that manifest the impossible into the possible. This tree can not be understood by reasoning from the Tree of Knowledge. Reason does not comprehend that the man from Genesis 14, Melchisedec is still alive today. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death" (John 8:51). Logic mixed with the environment of intellect can not comprehend what Jesus was saying. Unfortunately, many will try to take of the Tree of Life with the imagination of knowledge producing death.

In Christ Jesus, after the Order of Melchisedec, there is no sin. It's not that sin and corruption does not exist, but within this order that is above sin, there is no sin (Romans 8:1). We have received by the grace of God a ministry, a priesthood, making judgments according to what we do. However, most people disqualify themselves by condemnation of right or wrong instead of dying to self and living unto Christ (Galatians 2:20). It is not a matter of being enticed by sin, but by believing in sin we give way allowing sin to have power via enticing and temptation.

The more we participate eating of the Tree of Life that is in the midst of us, the more we will be overcomers. "He, who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7 Amplified Bible). This is not "someday when you get to heaven," but the blessings of God that we have access to eat from today. Week after week God is feeding believers from the Tree of Life forcing the powers of death to loosen their grip. Today, newborn babies don't know anything about death or sin. They have to be taught. It is the responsibility of believers to open their hearts, disassemble the old way of thinking, and be re-taught by the Holy Spirit that God has brought us into a different kind of priesthood. At the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we became partakers of a different tree that was not available to the Levitical and Aaronic priesthood.

Reality is: Jesus Christ is the Vine; we are the branches in the garden of God.

In Isaiah 41:18-20 we read:

"I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."

Trees are symbolic of humanity which is made out of wood. In Scripture wood always is symbolic of mankind. They represent kings, kingdoms, nations, leaders, the church, individuals, the Tree of Life (vine and branches), and the body of Christ.

The Shittah Tree, also known as "Acacias," is a hardwood which repels insects. It is a very beautiful wood used to build the Ark of the Covenant. Symbolically, it is not susceptible to demons or darkness. A tree that signifies the glory of God; His presence.

The Cedar Tree is one that is firm, strong, tenacious, and rooted. It does not easily decay. The size of this tree speaks of great statue among the other trees for it grows 120 feet high and 40 feet around. Unmovable; faithful to God.

The Myrtle Tree is symbolic of sweetness and beauty.

The Oil Tree is symbolic of olives that are eatable. This tree is filled with medicinal character oozing with a healing richness and an anointing that flows to others. People are able to be blessed from the excess of anointing from this tree just by being in its presence.

The Fir Tree or Cypress Tree is the largest of the pines. This tree was used for making musical instruments for worship. It is symbolic of great statue and nobility; a people that worship God in Spirit and Truth.

The Pine Tree was known for its lasting endurance; able to withstand all kinds of weather. This tree was durable and dependable. A people that stay strong and full of joy as they overcome obstacles in life.

The Box Tree comes from the root meaning characterized by standing upright; high and erected. It did not change in appearance as it grew. This tree was strong, honest, and prosperous; a wood that was good to build with. Not unstable, but what you saw is what you received. They don't talk with a double mind. People that you can have rightful, righteous relationships with.

We read in Isaiah 60:13, 15, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious…Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations."

When God reveals to us in Scripture the symbolic mystery of trees coming together we understand that He is not talking about a literal forest of trees, but a corporate people that make up His body.

In Proverbs 3:13-18 we read that the Tree of Life is Wisdom:

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her."

Proverbs 11:30 in the Amplified says, "The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men--he gathers and receives them for eternity]."

The Tree of Life is an answer to what is desired or prayed (Proverbs 13:12). People that have prayed and withstood the natural obstacles by faith eating from the fruit of righteousness receive the blessing of the Divine Wisdom of God.

Proverbs 15:4 in the Amplified says, "A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life." People that take what is wicked (negative, controversial, good and evil), and convert those words into wholesome life, love, and light.

Isaiah 55:8-13:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Psalm 104:16, "The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted."

Song of Solomon 2:3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."

Isaiah 61:3 Amplified, "To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty (life) instead of ashes (death), the oil of joy (anointing) instead of mourning (sorrow), the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks (trees) of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."

Ezekiel 17:24 Amplified, "And all the trees of the field shall know (understand and realize) that I the Lord have brought low the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it." Trees (people) will come to have knowledge of the ways of God.

The Lord says in Hosea 14:4-9:

"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols (trees that judges, separates, and brings division to the body of Christ)? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."

Matthew 12:13, "the tree is known by his fruit."

Matthew 13:31-32, "the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."

Acts 10:39, "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree."

Jesus died for ALL the trees.

Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

Mark 8:24 (Amplified Bible), "And he looked up and said, I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking."

Revelation 22:1-5 (The Message):

"Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service-worshiping, they'll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age."

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

When God is talking trees in Scripture He is not referring to what we see in the forest, but humanity. Today, we are the Garden of God, and we are the branch of the Tree of Life in Christ Jesus. This truth must be what we partake of and what we eat daily so that the resurrection power of Christ within us will be manifested filling the earth with the glory of God.

Colossians 1:24-28 (Amplified Bible):

"[Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. In it I became a minister in accordance with the divine stewardship which was entrusted to me for you [as its object and for your benefit], to make the Word of God fully known [among you]--The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints),to whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory. Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One)."

Every person is a part of a grove, a part of a tree. God's word has not changed from Genesis to Revelation. He declared that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. His word will not return void but will accomplish what He sent (Isa. 55:11). He gave permission to eat of ALL of the trees of the garden (Gen. 2:16). He places the Tree of Life to eat from in the midst of the garden (our heart) for mankind to eat of also (Gen. 2:9). The only Tree that God commanded for mankind to NOT eat from was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was the only tree that could produce death.

The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the flaming sword that once guarded the entrance into the garden of God, now paves the way to the Tree of Life, established once and for ALL for the price of sin was paid completely. In Christ Jesus we are able to eat of all the beauty humanity gives us. We don't have to be religious or isolated. All that God gave humanity He said was good and eatable. Everything in this natural world is affected and completely dependent in the balancing of how we see the trees (people) in God's garden.

When we stand upright in righteousness because we have eaten from the Tree of Life the atmosphere around us begins to harmonize with LIFE. The earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, droughts, etc. are all manifestations of the changes God is making in His garden. He is bringing forth the righteousness in each of us, coming together as one corporate garden or body of Christ: the cedar trees, box trees, myrtle trees, olive trees, oak trees, pine trees, cypress trees, Shittah trees, etc. Each of these trees have a portion of His fruit, His blessing, His prosperity that when combined with the fruit of the Tree of Life (mind of Christ) becomes a manifestation of the glory of God filling the earth today.

We were born from a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec which declares an endless life. It is the order of Jesus Christ. In truth, wherever we are IS the paradise of God. The condition of our heart and mind is His garden. We are His trees in His garden. He is the vine, we are the branches. This is not about some bush or mysterious place called heaven. The Tree of Life is alive today within each of us. We will know the tree by its fruit, not by intellect or reason. The fruit of everlasting life in Christ Jesus is who we are.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" Rev. 2:7…

Verses 11-17Amplified:

"He who is unrighteous (unjust, wicked), let him be unrighteous still; and he who is filthy (vile, impure), let him be filthy still; and he who is righteous (just, upright, in right standing with God), let him do right still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still. Behold, I am coming soon, and I shall bring My wages and rewards with Me, to repay and render to each one just what his own actions and his own work merit. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and the End of all). Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city. [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating). I, Jesus, have sent My messenger (angel) to you to witness and to give you assurance of these things for the churches (assemblies). I am the Root (the Source) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star. The [Holy] Spirit and the bride (the church, the true Christians) say, Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty [who is painfully conscious of his need of those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, and strengthened]; and whoever [earnestly] desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate, and drink the water of Life without cost."

This truth must become what we partake of and what we eat, the endeavor of what we pursue: We are the garden of God and we are the corporate body of the Tree of Life in Christ Jesus connected to the order of an endless life. We do not have to eat of the Tree of Knowledge which results in sickness, decay, and death. God's word will not return void…those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit of God is saying that will seem foolish to the natural man. All that God gave man in the beginning we can partake of NOW in Christ Jesus after the order of Melchisedec; the order of an endless life.

God gave us freedom to eat of all the trees in His garden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The way has been cleared by Jesus to eat of the Tree of Life continually reaping the inheritance of an endless life. Today we are the branches able to receive the nutition that flows from the root (Jesus Christ) to bring forth leaves that will heal and restore the nations (Rev. 22:2).

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