1. Man created in God’s image (Gen 1:27-28)
The creation work we see in Genesis chapter one is the work of being made, work of becoming and the work of things coming into order according to what God said.
In Hebrew when it says ‘God said’ , the verb is “vaiyomer”. God said on first day “let there be light” and there was light. What God said was fulfilled exactly as He said. God’s Word being obeyed and fulfilled, that’s creation. On the last day, the climax was when God created man, God said it was very good (“tov tov”). Is this work of creation happening in your life?
The image of God is the spiritual attributes of God – such as holiness, goodness, righteousness and love of God, etc. Because man was created in His own image, man was considered like God’s own son. We children of God have become living beings, we have His spirit, the breath of life (Gen 2:7). Jesus uses the word ‘theos’ in John 10:34-35, explaining that the children of God are gods.
If we have received the Word of God, the Spirit of God, we are living beings. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we are redeemed, we are born again, we are new people. And our life of faith right now is the garden of Eden.
2. God’s command to Adam who became a living being
After putting Adam in the garden of Eden, God spoke words, commands to him (Gen 2:15-17):
(1) ‘Cultivate and keep the garden’
(2) ‘You may eat freely from all the trees in the Garden’
(3) ‘But from only one tree you shall not eat’
The garden of Eden represents Adam. The garden of Eden was not yet heaven, it was not a perfect place but God has put that perfect hope and blessings there. It’s the spiritual realm where those of us who have received the Spirit of God, are put into, to be nurtured and trained. It is a path toward heaven.
But in the Garden of Eden, there is the command of God but there is also free will. It’s up to Adam and Eve whether to follow or to obey or not; because they are not robots. God has clearly given the guideline on what will lead you to life and what will lead you to death. There is choices and there is tests in the garden.
Genesis 1:2 tells us before we receive the light of Jesus Christ, the Word of Jesus Christ, darkness and chaos were in our heart. After we’ve met Christ through the Word, we received hope, joy, and delight just like in the garden of Eden. But the moment we decide to turn our backs to the Word of God, chaos and darkness will start to rule over us again.
Rev Abraham Park in his sermon says: Only those who keep the Word will have the eyes opened to see the Tree of Life. Those who do not choose the path of following God’s Word of Light are choosing the path of darkness.
Is the Tree of life in your life? I pray we will choose to follow the Word of God , remember and obey the Word of God. May the Word that is spoken be fulfilled (viayomer) in your life.
3. Who will eat the fruit from the Tree of Life?
(Rev 2:7 [ESV2011]) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
(Rev 2:17 [ESV2011]) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
God was telling Adam what he needed to do – that is to not eat from and to overcome the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “To him who overcomes”, God will grant to him the Tree of Life. So what is our job? Don’t need to worry about the Tree of Life He will give it to us. We need to worry about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus came and said He is the Tree of life. No one can come to the Father and receive eternal life unless they come to the Tree of Life (John 14:6). So we need to come to the Tree of Life.
4. Why was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil there?
The definition of ‘good’ in God’s perspective, is when the Word of God is obeyed and fulfilled. When I hear the Word of God, I follow the Word of God and His blessings take place in me. That’s Good. However ‘good’ in people’s mind today is different, it’s good only when it benefits me.
Rev. Abraham Park said in his sermon: The command concerning the Tree of knowledge of good and evil may seem like a threatening or scary concept: “don’t eat from it, or you will die”. But he says it’s not scary or unfair, rather God’s deep grace and love are hidden in this command. By God’s grace, we refrain from eating the fruit from that tree, and we will be protected by His love and guided to the Tree of life so that we can see and eat the fruit of life.
I pray that we may come to realise and understand that such great blessing is hidden in God’s sovereign work of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil is in this world, it’s in our heart and blocks us from receiving and obeying the Word of God 100% – my greed, my weakness, my compromises, my excuses. God says don’t eat it, don’t look at it, don’t even think about it. When God said from the day you eat of it you will surely die. Reverse that. So if you don’t eat from it, you will surely live. God’s command not to eat from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, that in itself is love. He gave Adam and Eve a direction on what to do in order that they can receive the fruit from the Tree of Life.
We see the good seed and the tares in Matthew 13:24-25, should all these people be admitted to the kingdom of heaven? Each country has national boundaries, so that terrorists cannot come into this country. Schools have admission tests and standards. The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil was something there to test us, to qualify for that eternal life. It is distinguish those who qualify as the good seed.
In order to eat from the Tree of Life we need to learn from Adam and Eve what they did wrong. Let’s pray that God will give us discerning spirits and hearts that we may not be deceived by the disguises of satan. We need to put weight upon the Word of God and give more effort in following the Truth. And may that Truth become fulfilled in our lives. May we become the remnants, not the deceiver, the spiritual 144,000 in the end time, and be able to sing the New Song.