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Secrets of the Tabernacle Unlocked
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. (Gen 2:9)
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 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 2:15-17)
God took man, Adam, and placed him in a garden where there was a tree he was not to partake of. Not only was he placed in the same proximity as the tree, but he was instructed to care for it, prune it, and in all other ways keep the tree healthy and a pleasure to be around. Just what is this tree that Adam was to tend?
The word Knowledge means to “be aware, to know.” Before Adam ate of the tree, he was not aware, had no knowledge of good and evil.
“Good” means more than just good as we think of it. In this case it also means “beautiful, good, pleasant, happy, healthy,” and so on. Now why would God want to keep His creation from such as these? “Evil” on the other hand, means “adversity, calamity, affliction, misery, wickedness.” In other words, this tree represented everything we want that is good, and everything we don't want that is harmful to us. It all depends on how we look at the tree.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent 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. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Gen 3:1-6)
There are some interesting things stated here in this passage that's easily missed, especially if one is not acquainted with the Hebrew. Notice that the serpent first softens Eve's resolve by making a broad statement that needs correction. God said that the two could eat of every tree in the garden. The serpent said that God told them they couldn't eat of every tree of the garden. Eve subsequently corrected the serpent, which caused her to be open to discussing the tree even further. When we spend time delving into subjects, or areas, we are to avoid, we make ourselves susceptible to being drug into things in which we don't belong (Titus 3:9). “Just smell its tantalizing aroma.”
Now we find the serpent contradicting a statement that God had made, that they would surely die, bringing Eve even closer to the tree, and breaking down her resistance. “Just lick it, there's nothing wrong with taking a little lick, is there.”
Eve is now so close to the tree that all she can see are the good aspects of the tree. She has become blind to the negatives.
When the serpent said Eve could be as gods, he wasn't saying she would become like Jehovah, the Creator, but an “Eloheim,” which could also refer to angels or magistrates. However, later Jehovah said “they have become like us,” which could mean like Himself, but not necessarily.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat 18:20)
There's always someone around who wants to cause us to step out of line with the will of God. Opportunities to sin are everywhere, especially in this technological age. But at the same time there are opportunities to do the right thing, if we look for them. Where people are gathered in the name of Christ, such as the church and its functions, we have no problem looking at the good side of the tree of knowledge. This holds true with the other side of the tree as well. Where two or three are gathered in the name of wickedness, there we are not to be found.
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. (Mat 18:2-5)
Jesus provides us with many an example of the opportunities we have presented to us every day where we can please God and stay in the right side, the good side, of the tree of knowledge. Serving children is one of these ways, which went contrary to the view of children in His day.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (Mat 25:34-40)
Some opportunities to do good are not placed in front of us during the course of daily living, we have to seek them out. Looking for opportunities to satisfy our flesh comes easy to those of us who are descended from Adam, but to do what satisfies the Spirit sometimes requires that we go against our human nature.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, (Luke 10:31-33)
Two men who were given the opportunity to do well, which was their God-given responsibility, made a special effort to avoid someone in need. Then a despised person, one we would least expect to help another person, did what God desires of him. If we were to have been on the road to Jericho that day, what would we have done?
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (Luke 16:19-21)
Here we have a picture of a man who had opportunity literally laid at his door, and this daily. It was the duty of a Jew to help the poor (Lev 25;35). By what we've been given in this story, this rich man did little or nothing to help someone in need of compassion.
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. (Prov 4:14-15)
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1Cor 5:9-11)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7-8)
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:8)
Our mother told us to stay away from bad company. This admonition is repeated here in the Bible. If we want to stay clean of those things that will cause our downfall, we must avoid, not only the places where such activity is practiced, but avoid the people who do such things as well. In times past a person had to make a conscious effort to find a place or the means by which to practice wickedness. Today it's thrust upon us in our schools, in our media, and in our very home. Wickedness is the norm for the world, and it's even creeping into our churches, if not through outright practice, then by our silence regarding its presence.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal 5:17)
Unlike Eve,who followed her passion and saw only the benefits of partaking of the knowledge of this world's offerings, we have to resist the temptation to satisfy the human nature God has given each and every one of us. Those of the world have only one nature to deal with, while the Christian has two natures given to him and her. We have to remain just as close to the Spiritual nature as possible, and as far from our carnal nature as we can.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Rom 13:14)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? ….. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Cor 6:14-18)
When we develop a habit, which most of us have many more than just one to deal with, then our nature is always drawn back to that habit. We desire to leave a little room in our life for that particular demon (Luke 11:24-26). If our habit is drinking, then our thought is: of course we won't go back to drinking, but what harm can a little display of wine bottles do? We develop friends that are a part of our old life, and we like to hang around with them, not for the drinking, but for the companionship. By nature our old buddies try to entice us to partake of the old life, but we're confident that we have the fortitude to resist their tendency to play the serpent with us. And who knows, we might even convince them to come to church with us (even though we never even mention church in their presence).
Meanwhile, deep inside, we're aware that there's a part of us that knows we're only fooling ourself, and we have hopes that in a weak moment we will fall into temptation -- only for a little while, and we'll have the serpent to blame.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Rom 7:18-19)
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Rom 7:24)
Paul understands our plight. But do we?
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. ….. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (1Cor 5:2-7)
The churches are more and more leaning toward accepting the ways of the world into their midst that contradict the will of God. And they boast about their backsliding, believing that it is the will of God. Instead of condemning the sins of the people in the congregation, the churches condemn the people of the world for doing what their congregation are partaking in. The churches serve as an apron of fig leaves they call doctrine that covers the sins of its people.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Cor 10:13)
God makes a way out of our temptation. The question is, do we want to take the escape, or do we in our heart hope we fall backward into the sin we've been nibbling the edges of?
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:8-10)
In the midst of the street [“A wide place, open square,” like maybe a garden?] of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:2)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:51)
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1Cor 15:45)
When all is said and done we again find the tree of life, without the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Along with the tree of life we see people who have made the effort to overcome their desire to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, who are enjoying the tree that God desires us to partake of.
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