The tree of knowledge vs The tree of life

By: Lars Kraggerud, Norway
From: June-July 2012
Found in: The Gospel of Grace

An important teaching on the tree of knowledge and the tree of life, the corrupt tree and the good tree, and how this relates to us today.

Jesus delivered us from the conscience of the tree of good and evil

Jesus prayed: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” If Jesus said to His disciples that they could pray like this, it had to be possible to gain this promise. The promise came to pass when Jesus was crucified.  He delivered us from the curse that Adam brought into this world. The curse came into all humankind because Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Paul called this curse the Law of sin and death. God said to Adam: “Do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

This is the first commandment that God gave man, and they broke it and gave all mankind a huge problem. All Adam`s descendants inherited a conscience from this fall. This conscience is based on right and wrong doings. This is the mother of all religion.

Agape love is our divine nature and our new conscience

Jesus is the tree of life, and He wants us to eat solely of Him. The tree of life is only good. God is love, and love will show us the right way. The law of love in us is the same as the law of the Spirit of life and this love has set us free from the law of sin and death. 

Isaiah prophesied about this new law of love in us:
Isaiah 30:21 And at your back, when you are turning to the right hand or to the left, a voice will be sounding in your ears, saying, This is the way in which you are to go.
This voice sounding in our ears is our new conscience. God is love and this love nature of God has been poured out in our hearts (Rom 5:5). 
   
This love is our divine nature in us. The sounding in the ears came from behind because the cross is behind us and we live in a new covenant.  If we fall into a sin, the love in us will show us the right way. Our divine nature will lead and guide us out of the situation, and it will take us with boldness in front of the throne of grace. We eat from the tree of life when we let this divine nature guide us. This is living and walking in the Spirit.

Condemnation showed up first with Adam, not with Moses

Rom 5:18 -19a Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and give them life. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners…

God said to Adam that he could not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The condemnation started when Adam ate from this tree. We often think that condemnation comes from not obeying the Ten Commandments, and if we get rid of them we will experience no condemnation as Paul promise in Romans 8:1. However, condemnation came to all of us through Adam eating of the forbidden fruit.

One evil law from Adam and one good law from Moses

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, And bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 

The “another law” in my members is from Adam eating of the tree of knowledge, and the law on Paul’s mind is the Ten Commandments. The “another law” is the evil - it`s the law of sin and death. This law is the input to all human conscience. If we do good we think we deserve a reward, if we do wrong we think we deserve punishment. We all are brought up this way, and it is pure religion.  It’s a system that only brings bad fruit.

Temptations for Christians today come when we start following right and wrong.

When Jesus prayed in Matt 6:13, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” I believe that Jesus was talking about the law of sin and death. Temptations for Christians today come when we start following right and wrong. Then we stir up the law of sin and death that is in our members.

God’s Law given to Moses is holy; however, it could not make us holy. The fruit from this Law brought more condemnation. But something happened in Romans chapter 8 - a new law was coming to us through Jesus Christ. He is the tree of life; He is the Spirit of life setting us totally free from Adam’s fall. God`s love in us is His own nature. It is divine nature.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

So there is no condemnation in Christ. There is no condemnation in the tree of life.  When we are in Christ Jesus we are totally set free from good and evil. And if we fall into a sin, there will be no condemnation, but our new conscience gives us awareness according to the love nature in us.

When we are in Christ Jesus we are totally set free from good and evil.

1.Cor 13:4-8 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

When we fail, we run to Him in our heart and ask for His help in every situation.

We belong in the good tree: The Tree of Life

Matt 7:17-18 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The corrupt tree is the tree of knowledge. Many people think if they don’t live strong and are on fire for Jesus, and they do not win people for the Lord, they are bad trees.
That is wrong thinking. This corrupt tree is about living under Adam’s fall, living in the old system and in the old conscience.

Many people think if they don’t live strong and are on fire for Jesus, and they do not win people for the Lord, they are bad trees.

1. Cor 15:21 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus is the good tree - He is the tree of life. It’s a good tree and it will produce good fruit in us because we keep away from the tree of knowledge.

Jesus was cut down for us

Matt 3:10 The ax is ready to cut down the trees at the roots; every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire

Jesus was hanging on a tree. Gal 3:13 says cursed is everyone hanging on a tree. He was cut down in our place. He took our place when God condemned sin in the flesh. It all happened on the cross (Rom 8:3). When Jesus was hanging on the tree, God laid all the sin of mankind, including you and me, upon Jesus. This includes all the sins of your earthly life from birth to death. God poured out His entire wrath and it hit Jesus Christ instead of you and me.

2.Cor 5:14b ...that if one died for all, then were all dead

When Jesus died, we all died. In God’s eyes we are all cut down, but because we believe in Jesus Christ, we are now in a good tree - the tree of life. We are in Christ Jesus a new creation, delivered from evil, and forever set free from our bad nature.

If we know the truth, the truth will set us free (John 8:32). A Christian who knows these things will never ever come under condemnation again, and the devil cannot touch him. The believer will instead rule over sin and have dominion in every situation in life, because he receives the abundance, the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness (Rom 5:17).

We will produce good fruit

John 15:16a You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last…

Jesus told us to produce fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is good fruit. Christ in us will produce good fruit. When we rest in Him, we understand these things and can boldly proclaim if we fall into sin: “My whole life is forgiven, my old life is gone, and I am a new creation in Christ. I am the righteousness of God.”

because we believe in Jesus Christ, we are now in a good tree - the tree of life.

The admonition for a believer is to stay away from the law, and not live after right or wrong doings. He wants us to trust in Him and not ourselves. We let Him take over and tell us the right things to do. I give Him my will and become a bond slave of Jesus Christ. From this moment, He is the boss. Jesus is my life; the Agape love is my way of living.

Gal 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain

If I go wrong, I hear a voice sounding in my ear: “This is the way in which you are to go.” That is the Agape love in my heart. It is God’s nature in you and me. If we turn away from the right way, He has promised us to lead us, and He will help us back on the way when we fall. Jesus is a new and living way, and He is my highway of holiness as Isaiah said:
“Although a fool, Shall not go astray.” Welcome to a good life where we can rest in Him.

Isa 35:8 A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray.

By: Lars Kraggerud, Norway

Norwegian Preacher and Bible School Teacher

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