God Tells us about Four Specific Trees
This morning I’d like to talk about four different trees. Three of them were physical trees, and one is a spiritual tree.
The first tree was in a physical paradise, and it was there to give physical life. The next tree was also in the same physical paradise, and although it no doubt looked just as beautiful as the tree that could bring physical life, all it could bring was spiritual death! The next tree was for the very PURPOSE, of bringing physical death. But the last tree is for the very purpose of bringing spiritual life!
So then four different trees. One brought physical death, and one brought spiritual death. And one brought physical life, and one brings spiritual life!
Maybe you know what those four trees are. Maybe you know what at least three of them are. But let’s talk about the first one; The one that was able to bring physical life.. Unending physical life.
We read in Genesis 2, verse 9; “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden..” The tree of life, in the garden of Eden, was there for the very purpose of bringing unending physical life, to the one who regularly ate of it’s fruit. And it was placed there by God, so that Adam and Eve, and their offspring could have eaten of it, and could have lived forever, physically.
Think about the circumstances in the garden. There were Adam and Eve, evidently young and healthy, alive physically, and most importantly, alive spiritually. Just like what God said in Ezekiel 28:15; “You were blameless in your ways, from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.” Now that statement was made in direct reference to the king of Tyre, who ended up to be so wicked. But the point is, if the wicked king of Tyre was created blameless in every way, we must logically assume, that Adam and Eve were created just as blameless.
And the scripture bears that out. God Himself “walked in the garden” right there with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8) until they sinned! And then they were expelled from that garden paradise. They would have had no need of a tree that gave spiritual life, because they already had spiritual life. And after they had sinned, it would have taken more than just a tree, to give them back that spiritual life. It would have taken, and it did require, the blood of a sinless sacrifice; The Blood of Jesus.
And so once Adam and Eve had sinned, and had died spiritually, God expelled them from the garden. And the reason that God gives for that, is given in Genesis 3, verse 22; “..lest he reach out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” Living forever physically, in a dead spiritual condition, was not God’s will. And so they were cast out of the garden, and away from the tree of life.
Now you might think that Adam and Eve would have no need for a tree that provided physical life either, because they were already alive physically.. Evidently young and healthy, and alive. And maybe that’s exactly why we have no evidence of them ever eating of the tree of life; Because they felt no need for it. But they evidently had little understanding if any, of what the future would bring. I’m quite sure that eventually, Adam and Eve suffered from physical ailments. Maybe injuries, maybe sickness, maybe disease. But all they thought of was now!
And isn’t that exactly how people are today. Very little understanding of what is to come. We tend to live for today, especially when wre young. Young people in general, tend to not have much concern at all, about growing old, and losing their health and their vitality. And why would they? They have “their whole life ahead of them” so to speak.
But what about what is to come spiritually? How many people truly prepare for what is to come spiritually.
Right now, we all have the opportunity to partake of food that will prepare us for eternity. Not physical food, but spiritual food. Jesus said something in John 6:53, that confused and disturbed many people. He said; “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and shall have drank His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.”
Most people thought that Jesus was speaking literally, as if they literally had to eat the flesh and blood of the physical body of Jesus! And that’s why it’s so important that we understand, and learn how to discern, between the physical and the spiritual. In order to have spiritual life, we all need to “eat of” and “drink of” the spiritual body of Jesus. You have to be a part of His kingdom, don’t you? And we all have opportunity to do that, while we live physically, in this life.
Some day, we’ll even have the opportunity of eating of the “tree of life”. Not the tree of physical life, that was in the garden; (although at times we might wish we had one of those too, to heal us of all our aliments) But rather, IF we will remain faithful till death, we’ll have have the blessed opportunity to eat of the tree of spiritual life, and to be “healed” eternally. Jesus Himself promises us, in Revelation 2, verse 7; “To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to eat from the tree of life in the Paradise of God.”
Let me read Revelation 2, verses 1 & 2; “And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and of the river, on this side and on that side, was a tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit according to each month; And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (of the people of the nations)
And now let me read Revelation 21, verses 1 thru 4; “Then I saw a NEW heaven, and a NEW earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” The physical heavens and earth where we now dwell, will no longer exist. We read in 2 Peter 3, verse 10; “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall not be found.”
Back to Revelation.. “I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Notice how “the new Jerusalem” is simply another reference to “the new heavens and new earth”. The old Jerusalem, was physical, as is this present heaven and earth. But the NEW Jerusalem, and the NEW heavens, and the NEW earth, are all spiritual. And they ALL refer to our future new abode, in the eternal heaven, with God and with Christ.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain; For the former things have passed away.” The physical things have passed away, and the spiritual things have come.
And that reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; Behold, the new has come.” The spiritual has come back to life, right? We were created blameless, spiritually alive, and now we are “born again”, re-created, a NEW creation, once again made spiritually alive!
And now we can understand the previous verse, verse 16, which says; “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” We don’t think of our brothers and sisters in Christ, merely from a fleshly and physical point of view. But we think of one another from a spiritual point of view. Spiritual brothers and sisters, members of one another, in the spiritual body of Jesus Christ.
So now I’ve spoken about the first tree of physical life, and about the last tree of spiritual life. But what about those other two trees? The tree of spiritual death, and the tree of physical death?
Well, the tree of spiritual death, was right in the midst of the garden of Eden, along with the tree of physical life. (Genesis 2:9) And that tree of death, was called, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. Now, you’d think that would have been a really good tree to eat from, a tree that provided the knowledge of good and evil. But it wasn’t. Because along with the knowledge of good and evil, came death. Death of the soul.
God commanded, in Genesis 2:16 & 17; “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden. But, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shalt not eat of it: For in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die!” It was indeed a tree of death! But yet THAT was the tree, that first Eve, and then Adam, freely choose to eat of. Is that surprising, that they would do that? Doesn’t everyone have clear choices laid out before them. Choices that have clear consequences. But yet, those are the things that so many people freely choose. And so it really shouldn’t surprise us at all.
“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof, are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14, verse 12)
At this point, do you know what the tree of physical death is? It’s a tree, whose single purpose was to bring about physical pain, and suffering, and death. It’s the “tree” that Jesus was crucified on. It’s the cross, that Jesus hung upon, and died upon. And the cross is figuratively referred to as a “tree”.
Acts 5, verse 30 says; “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had killed, by hanging Him on a tree.”
Acts 10, verse 39 says; “We are witnesses of all that He did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem. And although they put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree.”
1 Peter 2:24 tells us; “He Himself bore our sins in His body, on the tree, so that we might die to sin, and live to righteousness. “By His stripes you are healed.”
And listen to Acts 13:29; “And when they had fulfilled, all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre.” (in a tomb) From Judas who betrayed Jesus, to the Jews who demanded His crucifixion, to the the Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion, to Joseph of Arimathea, who along with Nicodemus, took the body of Jesus down and laid it in the tomb, they were all fulfilling the many prophecies of God, and the words of Jesus Himself, when He said, in Luke 24:46; “Was it not necessary, for the Christ to suffer these things, and then to enter His glory?”
And one more verse that I want to mention, is Galatians 3:13; “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
God took the purpose of that tree, and turned it on it’s head, didn’t He? It was meant for death, and it brought death to Jesus; But it brings life to us!