All creation was made by one only God: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). We may understand by heavens, all the visible and spiritual things. By earth, we may understand all the visible and material things that exist in the universe. The Hebrew word designated for God is ELOHIM. It is in the plural form, for the singular of ELOHIM is EL. The Christian theology of the first centuries understood that Elohim is, therefore, the trinity; in other words, The Word; in other words, the word that proceeded from the mouth of God, when he said: “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). And this word is in John 1:1-3. We have here the Father and the Son. And what about the Holy Spirit? In Gen. 1:2 we read: “God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters”. In Hebrew the word RUAR is spirit. There it is the trinity from the beginning.
The Tetragrammaton, in other words, Jehovah, does not show up in the first chapter of Genesis: only the word Elohim. In chapter two, when Adam is formed from the dust of the earth, Jehovah and Elohim are found together. Now, if in chapter one only Elohim shows up, and in chapters two and three Jehovah and Elohim show up, it is obvious that they are two gods. Is it possible to prove that? Let us prove it:
The trinity is one God that is manifested in three different forms (1 John 5:7). And Paul says: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14). Now, none of the three could say, in the trinity: “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:22). If one of them, in the trinity, knew about good and evil and the other ones did not, the trinity would be undone; therefore, the difference was between Jehovah and Elohim, or between Jehovah and Jesus.
We know that the tree of life is Jesus, because Jesus himself declared: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer” (John 15:1). And who planted the tree of good and evil? Jesus declares that there are plants that God, the Father, has not planted; and these plants shall be uprooted (Matt. 15:13). Let us analyze the tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
1. This tree has light, but also has darkness. David says: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation” (Ps. 27:1). The same David says: “For with you is the spring of life. In your light shall we see light” (Ps. 36:9). On the other hand, the same David says: “He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies” (Ps. 18:11). In Jehovah we can find light and darkness existing together. In God the Father, only light (1 John 1:5).
2. In the tree of the knowledge are good and evil, and also in Jehovah: “Doesn’t evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?” (Lam. 3:38). When Jehovah promises good and the beneficiary does evil, Jehovah repents from the promised good and trumps up evils in its place. Where love and evil are together, evil prevails over good (Jer. 18:9-11).
3. There are two spirits in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The spirit of good and the spirit of evil. The good one comes from Jehovah, for Nehemiah says: “You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them” (Neh. 9:20). And Jehovah places evil spirits in man (1 Sam. 16:14-15). Jehovah pours wicked spirits (Is. 19:14).
4. There are blessing and curse together in the tree of science. Solomon says: “Jehovah’s curse is in the house of the wicked, but he blesses the habitation of the righteous” (Prov. 3:33). As wherever evil and good are together evil prevails, Jehovah says: “‘Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name,’ says Jehovah of Armies, ‘then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart’” (Mal. 2:1-2).
5. Love and hatred are side by side in the tree of the science of good and evil. Jehovah loves his people (Hos. 11:1; Deut. 23:5). But Jehovah, when his people sinned, began to hate him (Ps. 78:58-59; 106:40-41). Wherever love and hatred are found together, hatred prevails (Deut. 32:22-25).
6. Good and evil, and freedom and slavery are in the tree of the science of good and evil. Jehovah descended from heaven to deliver Israel from the Egyptian slavery and to take them to a paradisiacal land (Ex. 3:7-8). Jehovah really took them to the Land of Canaan, land flowing with milk and honey. After they had settled there they found out that the truth was not quite as they had thought, for they had been taken to the fiery furnace (Is. 31:9). And they were subjected to a worse yoke that that of Egypt.
7. In the days of Solomon, Rehoboam abandoned the law of Jehovah and took with him all Israel, and for this reason Jehovah sent Shishak, king of Egypt, with a great army and also with the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians, and took Jerusalem. Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and Jehovah said: They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them; nevertheless they shall be Shishak’s servants, that they may know the difference between my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries (2 Chr. 12:1-8).
8. Salvation and condemnation are in the tree of the science of good and evil. We read in the New Testament: “Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn’t believe” (Jude 5).
In the tree of life there is only salvation, and not condemnation: “For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:17). There is also only light, for Jesus said: “He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). In the tree of life there is only one Spirit, which is love (Eph. 4:4; Rom. 5:5). In the tree of life there is no curse, for Jesus has delivered us from the curses of Jehovah being himself made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). In the tree of life there is only love. The Father is love (1 John 4:8). The Son is love (John 13:34). The Holy Spirit is love (Rom. 15:30). In the tree of life there is only freedom, and never slavery. Jesus declared: “If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
This is a matter of common sense. Those of Jehovah will always be the serpent’s food (Is. 65:25). Those of Christ will have eternal life in the kingdom of God (1 Pet. 1:3-4).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira