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Doctrine of Tree of Life 1

September 26, 2015

DOCTRINE OF THE TREE OF LIFE

A. Introduction.
1. The tree of life is associated with perfect life and environment in the Garden, as well as the perpetuation of right relationship with God in the Garden, Gen 2:9, 3:22.
2. When man sinned and was driven out of the Garden, he was cut off from the tree of life, Gen 3:24.
3. The tree of life is not seen again by man until the eternal state, Rev 2:7, 22:2, 14.
4. The tree of life is related to doctrine, Prov 3:18.
5. Positive volition is related to the tree of life in Prov 13:12.
6. The tree of life will be located forever in the New Jerusalem, Rev 22:2.
7. Eternal happiness is associated with the tree of life, Rev 22:14.

B. There are four categories of trees in the garden of Eden, Gen 2:9. “Every tree being desirable to the sight, and those good for food, and the tree of life in the middle of the Garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
1. The first category is designed for the prosperity of the soul.
a. All happiness must be related to the soul, to what you think. Happiness is not a set of circumstances.
b. If you have capacity from doctrine in the soul, then you can express happiness regardless of circumstances.
c. Category one was designed for man’s pleasure of soul, for his capacity for happiness. As created from God, man had perfect capacity for happiness. Therefore, the state in the Garden was the epitome of grace happiness.
d. After man sinned the principle didn’t change: misery and happiness are both a state of the soul. Man was created to be perfectly happy. Any happiness you have is based on capacity.
2. The second category. Man had happiness of body. Food was designed to express happiness, to stimulate, to perpetuate health. Stimulation of the taste buds was a reminder of God’s grace before man sinned, just as eating the bread of communion is a reminder of God’s grace after man sins.
3. The third category: the Tree of Life.
a. The tree of life was both the capacity for perfect happiness and blessing, and total appreciation of God’s grace. The tree of life is the total happiness of man when created. Man had a perfect soul in a perfect body, therefore the perfect origin of God’s perfect happiness and the perfect expression of God’s perfect happiness.
b. Adam was happy in the garden. Therefore it was the woman whom Satan tempted. She was unhappy because she thought God was trying to put one over on her: knowing something she didn’t know.
c. Man was designed for happiness, blessing, capacity and pleasure unless he went negative to God’s plan. The same thing is still true today. Only disobedience destroys happiness.
d. The first sin involved no morality or immorality at all, but rejecting perfect happiness provided by God. The tree of life was useless to man in the status of spiritual death.
e. Man as ruler ought to be happy. The tree of life combined immortality with perfect happiness to give man perfect environment plus perfect happiness so he could do a good job ruling the world. Man had everything that would stimulate perfect happiness. The tree of life is useless to man as a sinner because sin destroys happiness. The tree of life was God’s grace provision for man as the ruler of this world.
f. The tree of life was man’s expression of positive volition to God’s provision, Gen 3:24. Man was cut off from the tree of life because of his positive volition to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
g. The tree of life represents God’s perfect happiness, and God’s perfect happiness perpetuated, and both were cut off so that they cannot exist in the human race. The closest you can come is spiritual maturity. And in the same way we can destroy the happiness of maturity by negative volition to God’s plan.
h. If man, in spiritual death, had eaten from the tree of life, his free will would no longer be the means of resolving the angelic conflict. Immortality, in the status of spiritual death, would condemn the human race totally to the lake of fire.
i. Gen 3:22, you cannot have an old sin nature and eat of the tree of life. You cannot have God’s perfect happiness and sin. You can’t choose both the plan of God and the cosmic system of Satan. Man would have no free will after the fall, if he had been permitted to eat of the tree of life. Therefore the tree of life was put out of his reach, so that his free will would determine where he would spend eternity and whether he would be happy or miserable.
j. The tree of life was provided by God’s grace to be associated with man’s positive volition, which was to be expressed in his free will toward the plan of God. A new tree had to be selected in order for happiness to exist. By expelling man from the garden, man now could choose to eat from the tree of the cross. Only winners in the Christian life have the privilege of eating from the tree of life in the Garden of God in eternity.
4. Category four: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
a. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil results in spiritual death. If man then eats from the tree of life, God’s perfect happiness would coexist with sin. Therefore, the tree of life is forbidden.
b. All of our sins were sent to another tree: the cross, the tree of eternal life. Now we can only be happy in the divine dynasphere, but this God’s perfect happiness is relative depending on capacity.
c. After the Fall, the purpose for the creation of man could only be perpetuated by cutting man off from the tree of life and providing a new tree of life: the cross. By remaining in the Garden in spiritual death, man would have been immortal with unhappiness. Therefore, God cut man off from the tree of life.
d. Perfect happiness excludes boredom. Man didn’t sin because he was bored with it all. When we try to assuage boredom with excitement, we destroy the whole principle of God’s perfect happiness. For you can’t have God’s perfect happiness without capacity.
5. The tree of life perpetuates happiness and prosperity in both the human soul and body in perfect environment. The first three categories are designed for man in innocence, and for the believer in resurrection body.
6. Once man ate of the forbidden tree, immortality must be attained by partaking of another tree: the tree of eternal life, the cross.
7. Man did not need to have the knowledge of good and evil. Good is the plan of God, and evil is the plan of Satan. And these are only an issue to man in the state of spiritual death as a sinner.
8. In the garden neither good nor evil were an issue because of the first three categories of trees. In innocence man didn’t have to understand good and evil to have a relationship with God. Only in sinfulness and spiritual death must man understand the issue of good versus evil.

C. Scripture.
1. Prov 3:1318, “She [doctrine] is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her.” Knowledge of Bible doctrine is the only tree of life available to the believer after salvation. Learning doctrine in time is as close as we can get to the happiness of the tree of life.
2. Rev 22:2,14, “Happy are those who wash their robes [rebound] that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates of the city.”
3. Prov 11:30, “The fruit of the mature believer is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
4. Prov 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the right lobe sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
5. Prov 15:4, “A healing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it is the crushing of the spirit.”