Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 122814
Heaven. Part 4. The Tree of life
We have been noting some of the privileges that will take place in Heaven especially for the winner believer. One of the major ones, as we have noted, is the Tree of Life.

REV 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.”

REV 22:2, “And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

REV 22:14, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”

Remember there were four categories of trees in the Garden of Eden.

1. Every tree being desirable to the sight is the first category which is designed for the prosperity of the soul.
2. The category called “good for food”.
3. The Tree of Life.
4. Tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Because the man and the woman ate of the tree of the knowledge of good evil, there are now two trees of life that he can eat from. As an unbeliever, he first of all needs to eat of the first tree of life which is called the Cross.

1PE 2:24, and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree [KJ], that we might die to the sin nature and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

GAL 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us‑‑ for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”

The tree being called a curse actually came from DEU 21:22-23, “And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.

Whenever an individual looks and believes upon the tree of the cross, that’s how he becomes a born again believer. Then he is ready to eat from the second tree of life in time called wisdom or the tree of life which pertains to Bible doctrine, PRO 3:18. Because God,  in His grace, has provided for us our own Garden of Eden, which I call the PPOG, we can eat of the tree of life which is the perfect spiritual environment in this life which I call the PPOG. In this life, we can only be happy in the perfect environment of the PPOG. After the fall, the purpose for the creation of man could only be perpetuated by God cutting man off from the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden and providing a new Tree of Life: the Cross, 1PE 2:24, and then Bible doctrine, PRO 3:18.

We have documented in detail the fact that God did not want man to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good evil because He did not want us to be a position where we had to choose the plan of God over the plan of Satan. Because in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, good represented the plan of God, while evil represented the plan of Satan. God, in His perfect will, did not want us to be in a position where we had to choose one or the other. He would have rather seen His creation remain perfect and never have to choose to make a choice between good or evil. But of course, He knew what was going to happen and therefore He provided a solution. As He always does.

We did not need to know the plan of God and the plan of Satan until we fell. For example, we would not have to know evil, sin, legalism, self-righteousness, religion, and the PPOG, if we had not fell or eaten from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These are only an issue to man in the state of spiritual death as a sinner. In the garden,  neither good nor evil were an issue because of the first three categories of trees.

One which was good for soul stimulation. One for physical stimulation, and for our spiritual stimulation.

1TH 5:23, Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In a state of innocence or in a state of perfection, 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. Therefore the Tree of Life for the believer today is Bible Doctrine or PVTD. Now, how do you discover the Tree of Life in time?

PRO 3:13-16, How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit [wisdom or metabolized doctrine] is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She [wisdom] is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her [wisdom or metabolized doctrine]. Length of days is in her right hand [the right hand represents the hand of power]; in her left hand [the Secondary hand] are riches and honor.

This simply means that capacity for life must precede riches and honor.

PRO 3:17  Her ways are gracious ways, and all her paths are peace.  

Then our main verse: PRO 3:18, She [chokmah, wisdom, metabolized doctrine] is a Tree of Life to those who take hold of her.

However, man was cut off from the tree of life because of his positive volition to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 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 PPOG. And so your PVTD is a manifestation of you eating from the Tree of Life in time. However, once the kingdom of darkness sees that you are positive, it’s time for you to get ready for the distractions to positive volition. And there are many distractions to Bible Doctrine which we began to note Friday evening with the difference between distractions from doctrine and distractions to positive volition. You can have PVTD and have certain distractions hinder that positive volition.

We noted that thorns are used to describe distractions to positive volition toward Bible Doctrine. In MAT 13:7 “and others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. Then in MAT 13:22 “and the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. You can have PVTD and have it hindered by the worries of this life, or the deception caused by riches.

There is another problem which many believers face which can also extinguish or suffocate PVTD and that is arrogant subjectivity. Arrogant subjectivity is an overemphasis of your personal problems when listening to Bible Doctrine being taught. If your problems are on your mind while listening to doctrine being taught, you won’t hear anything; you’ll just be trying to make the doctrine fit into your problems. And that’s why you must have self‑discipline to set your problems aside before listening to the teaching of the word of God. Every message is not going to be for your present personal problems. In fact, more than likely it will be for your future problems.

That’s why when Peter said in 2PE 3:17  you therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness. Knowing this beforehand is the Greek word proginisko which means to have knowledge beforehand or before the moment needed the knowledge is given.

Now, Bible Doctrine is the essential of life, which demands perception and inflexibility in determining the reality in life.

What Bible Doctrine says should be the reality to you, 2PE 1:16‑21.

Peter, James and John had the opportunity to get a glimpse  experientially of our Lord’s glory and the Second coming.

MAT 17:2, And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

That’s His uniform of glory.

2PE 1:16 for we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

There were a lot of Myths and stories about “gods” coming down to the earth. And Peter is saying we have not followed the Greek Myths or fables but Bible doctrine. So Peter is talking about the Second Advent or the Second coming of Christ.

And it’s not based on Myth but on the source of many passages in both the Old and New Testament.

This doctrine is not a reality today on the basis of empirical knowledge but on the basis of the fact that it stands written forever in the word of GOD. And the principle that Peter is about to raise is simply this. What is reality, especially to you?

Is reality what you see?
Is reality what you smell?
Is reality what you taste?
Is reality what you hear?

Or, is reality what is found in the word of God?

You may experience something, however, if what you experience does not line up biblically, your experience though real, is wrong. This is one of the major issues that all believers have to determine at some point. If you decide that reality is found in the word of God then it is inevitable that you must make Bible doctrine your number 1 priority. For whatever reality is to you that’s what you make your number 1 priority in your life. If your reality is a man or woman, then you make them your number 1 priority. Therefore, your chances for happiness are slim and dim and none. But, if you find reality in Bible doctrine then you will turn out to be a great lover and a very wonderful and thoughtful person. And you will end up having a very marvelous and wonderful time in life. It all depends on what reality is to you! If reality is Bible doctrine than you’re in for a very wonderful time. Reality is found in the doctrine of the word of God not in empiricism or experience. Empirical phenomena is what you see, feel, taste, touch, and hear.

So, Peter, even though he has experienced a glimpse of the Second  coming will emphasize “doctrine over experience”. He will say in verse 19 “and so we have the prophetic word made more sure.” The prophetic word made more sure is Bible doctrine. What was more real to Peter? Seeing Christ on the mount of transfiguration as He would appear at the Second advent and hearing the voice of God the Father or Bible doctrine metabolized about the subject?

MAT 17:1-8, And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well‑pleased; listen to Him!” And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone.

Was this more of a reality to Peter or was the word of God more of a reality. Peter will answer that! He will state that metabolized doctrine is more real than experience.

2PE 1:17-18, for when He [TLJC] received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to him by the majestic glory, “this is My beloved son with whom I am well‑pleased”‑‑ and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the Holy mountain.

Now that was their experience. “We” refers again to Peter, James, and John.

However, notice 2PE 1:19-21, and so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

So, reality can only be determined by what is taught in the word of God. Personal problems are non‑essentials, which demand the application of doctrine, and at the same time flexibility, regulation, and restraint when involved in the function of perception and metabolization of doctrine. You must restrain yourself, and not think about your problems when listening to the teaching of Bible Doctrine. You are insulting God when all you think is you and your problems and what you’re going through.

MAT 6:25-33, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life,   as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body,   as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

You cannot learn doctrine when you’re thinking about your problems. If you think your problems are more important than anything else in life, you are inflexible about your personal problems, therefore disassociated from reality. Personal problems must not be a distraction to objectivity when under Bible teaching. You can’t think about your problems and hear concentrate on doctrine at the same time. Everyone has problems. Look at how Peter put it in 1PE 5:6-8, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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