144 – THE TREE OF LIFE
The apostle of love tells us in the Gospel of John: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). This tree of life, which is Jesus, was specially sent to sinners and lost people, by God. This is why the apostle Paul said: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Tim.1:15). And Jesus Christ himself declared: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt.9:13). Jesus is the tree of life to those that are dead, not to those that are alive. A thief and robber hung on a cross beside Jesus, and called out: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” Jesus, filled with a compassion that proceeded from the Father, answered him readily:“Truly I say to you, today, you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). We ask to Jehovah, the god of this world: Why was Adam, after his sin, forbidden to eat of the tree of life? (Rom.5:12).Anyone can get to the conclusion that that tree of life was for the righteous and not for sinners, since it was not forbidden to Adam and Eve before the fall. If the tree of life of the Garden of Eden of Jehovah could only be eaten by the righteous, it was not Jesus, nor a figure of the true tree of life, because Jesus came to dead sinners. “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph.2:5). “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” (Col.2:13). The tree of life of Jehovah, placed in the Garden of Eden, does not save anyone, for it was created just for the righteous. And if John says that Jesus is the true vine, that one was the false one (John 15:1).
Adam is the father of all sinners: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom.5:12). “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor.15:21-22). If, from the first Adam, all have died spiritually, the realm of death of Jehovah has been decreed, and this realm belongs to Satan, as we read in the letter to Hebrews: “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb.2:14-15).
And Jehovah closed to sinners the way to the tree of life. “Then Jehovah God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’—therefore Jehovah God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the faming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen.3:22-24). Jehovah made sure that no repenting mortal ever found the way to the tree of life, which was meant for the righteous alone. It was established, then, eternal death, and Satan’s realm of death (Heb.2:14-15).
Whoever has eyes can see clearly that the incarnation of the Word was a powerful intervention in Jehovah’s project. It was so violent, that Jesus said: “NOW JUDGMENT IS UPON THIS WORLD; NOW THE RULER OF THIS WORLD SHALL BE CAST OUT” (John 12:31). Hell was invaded by the love and the grace of the Father. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). And Jesus proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God the Father, with these words: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of god has come upon you” (Matt.12:28).The kingdom of God was not in the Old Testament, because death reigned in this dispensation, which was the realm of the devil, established by Jehovah. And for this reason, at the time of the temptation, the devil said to Jesus that the kingdoms of this world had been given to him (Luke 4:5-8). The devil tried to hand to Jesus the realm of death. What a stupid and vulgar temptation! Jesus is the life and the resurrection (John 11:25-26). The evangelist Luke reveals to us in his gospel: “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached” (Luke 16:16). There was no life in the Old Testament, so the kingdom of God was not there.
Paul says: “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life trough the One, JESUS CHRIST” (Rom.5:17).
How glorious it is to see men go from death to life! Jesus said: “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live” (John 5:24-25). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but though Me” (John 14:6).
If anyone tries to return to the paradise of Eden, he will not be able to, because the flaming sword of Jehovah will not allow him, and the cherubim, angels of Jehovah, are watching so that no one can find the way to the tree of life. No sinner can eat of that tree, which was created for the righteous. Besides that, the kingdom of god is not on earth. We have nothing to do with the paradise of Jehovah. Paul reveals to us: “The Lord will […] bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim.4:18). The apostle Peter also tells us that our inheritance is not on the earth. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet.1:3-4).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira