Thursday, February 13, 2020

Tree of Life

“These are in the world.”, “The world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” “Even as He is, so are we in the world.” (John 17:11,14,16; I John 4:17)

QUOTE = Echoes From Eden by J Preston Eby

If Jesus was not of the world, why was He in the world? If there was no sympathy between Him and the world, why was it that He lived in it, and did not remain in that high and holy and blessed world to which He belonged?

The answer is, The Father had sent Him into the world. In these two expressions, “In the world” and “Not of the world,” we find the whole secret of His work as the God-man, the Son of the Father.

He was IN THE WORLD in human nature, because God would show that this nature belonged to HIM, and not to the god of this world, that the human nature was created to receive the divine and incorruptible life of God and in this divine life to reach its highest glory. He was IN THE WORLD in fellowship with men, to enter into loving relationship with them, to be seen and known of them, and thus to lead them back to the Father. He was IN THE WORLD to struggle with the demonic and fleshly powers which rule the world, to overcome them and open up the way for those who should follow to overcome; to learn obedience, and so perfect and sanctify human nature.

He was NOT OF THE WORLD, but of heaven, to manifest and bring nigh the life that is in God, from which man had become alienated through wicked works, that men might see it and long for it. He was NOT OF THE WORLD, founding a Kingdom entirely heavenly in origin and nature, entirely independent of all that the world holds desirable or necessary, with principles and laws and a spirit the very opposite of those that rule in the world. He was NOT OF THE WORLD, witnessing against its sin and departure from the Spirit of God, its powerlessness to know and please God. He was NOT OF THE WORLD in order to redeem all to Him, and to bring them into that new and heavenly Kingdom which He revealed in His Sonship.

This glorious life of Christ on earth, “In the world” but “Not of the world,” is the very essence and reality of the TREE OF LIFE in the Paradise of God.”

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. 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 the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:8-9).

This Tree of Life was in all reality “In the world” but “Not of the world.”

It was accessible to man but had absolutely nothing to do with the realm of earthiness, for it was heaven’s own divine life made available to man.

In the Tree of Life, God invited man to find Him as the source and center of life that in union with Him, God would live, and move, and have his being.

In the Tree of Life, man would be full of light, abounding in heavenly wisdom and knowledge, fearful in power and dominion, ethereal as a spirit and shining in the image of God. The fruit of this wonderful Tree would indeed make man radiant with the resplendent glory of God as was Jesus, the second Adam, at the transfiguration, whose face shone as the sun and His raiment was as the light.

In this Tree of Life the radiant perfumes of the heavenly realm would be fragrance and life to man’s nostrils. He would taste spiritual realities and touch spiritual things. The wisdom and power of God Himself would be wide open to him and he would walk in the presence and glory of celestial realms. The gates of that realm would never be shut by day or by night. Man would need to eat of no other tree nor drink of any of the waters of earth. Man would have “meat to eat” that no other creature in heaven or earth knew of and “water to drink” that none other had ever tasted. The heavens would be opened over his head and he would walk in the glory of the presence of God the Almighty.

THIS was the glory of the Tree of Life in Eden! And what was that glorious Tree?”

In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... in HIM WAS LIFE; and THE LIFE was the light of men” (John 1:1,4).

This life-giving Tree, THE LIVING WORD OF GOD, Christ, was from the beginning “In the world” but yet “Not of the world.” When Eden’s gates clanged shut behind our banished foreparents, that blessed Tree of eternal life was never again seen by the wondering eyes of mortal man until the day in which Jesus stood upon the earth and declared: “I am the LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the *LIFE OF THE WORLD*” (John 6:51).

The reason Jesus came forth as the visible expression of the Father, the Tree of Life re-planted, was so that there might be a focusing, a manifestation which would become a MEETING PLACE for us to come to know God, and become one with Him, as it was in the beginning. It is IN CHRIST JESUS that GOD AND CREATION MEET, COME TOGETHER, AND ARE MADE ONE. Christ WHO IS OUR LIFE has come and has been planted in the garden of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, that all may come and eat and drink and have life.

There is a most wonderful statement made concerning Christ in the Song of Solomon. The Shulamite proclaims of Him: “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the Sons. I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste” (S of S 2:3).

The word, “apple,” in this place, means orange, pomegranate, citron, as well as apple, and is applied in the Hebrew to this entire family of fruit trees. Though one searched through all the forests of earth, he would not find one fruit tree; and though one searches through the whole forest of unregenerated humanity, there is not one tree there that can bear any fruit excepting that which is poisonous and bitter. Before the Shulamite found that one fruitful Tree, Christ, she searched throughout the forest, seeking life, seeking food, seeking fruit; but upon no tree did she find anything but leaves.

With intense desire she searched through the forest to find a tree that had fruit on it!. With determination she looked here and there for a tree that could give and sustain life. Weary and exhausted, discouraged and hungry, she looked for peace, but she found it not; she looked for fulfillment, but she found it not; she sought for a true “husband” among the forest of men, but she found none. Neither in man’s creeds or doctrines, nor in their sacraments, programs, traditions, or forms, did she find that which her soul longed for. Neither in her own works nor in those of any other did she find contentment or spiritual advancement. How she traveled and looked for reality and could not find it!

At last, by the guidance and purpose of God she came to Him who is the only “Apple Tree” in the whole forest of humanity; the tree bearing the richest and most nutritious of all the fruits of earth. She came and tasted and found that IN HIM there is life more abundant! She has partaken of Christ, the one and only Tree of Life; she has found fruit, refreshing and sweet, both nourishing as food and transforming in power She has found the tree with the most complete and energizing fruit, and fruit all the time. It is the fruit of eternal life and glory!

There is righteousness, peace, joy, knowledge, wisdom, and power!

Ah, precious friend of mine, have you come to the one Apple Tree and partaken of His glorious and eternal reality? Is your soul longing for the full nourishment of His holy life and nature? Do you want the love of God to be perfected within your life? Do you desire above all else to put on His mind and to be conformed to His glorious image – a mature son of God?

Then come and feed upon this Tree, Christ.

This is the Tree that was planted on earth when Jesus came at Pentecost in the power of the Spirit. God planted that Tree, the Tree is Christ, and only by the spirit do we have access to it. And we find that it is all that we need!. With unutterable loathing we turn from every bitter and poisonous tree, from every tree bearing naught but leaves. With haste we flee from every tree of man’s theories, philosophies, creeds, and religious works, for they are empty and powerless.

Many precious brethren are perplexed that we no longer find any desire to fellowship with them in their religious ceremonies and rituals, in their so-called “holy days” and festive seasons, in their carnal ordinances and pitiful programs, in their static creeds and petty doctrines, in their fleshly board meetings and organizations. They wonder why we don’t run from meeting to meeting, from seminar to seminar, from campaign to campaign, to hear every preacher, and teacher, and prophet, and healer, and miracle worker who passes through town.

I do not want to beat about the bush in what I am saying, but I want to speak my earnest convictions with clarity and assurance. I find that even the Christian bookstores with their endless shelves of books filled for the most part with spiritual nonsense have become a stench to my spirit. I tell you of a truth that I find the vast majority of the Christian radio and television stations, with their religious racketeers, showmanship, Jesus rock and confusion of tongues to be nothing more nor less than ambassadors of the kingdom of Babylon.

Those things satisfied once, but now I have tasted of the fruit of a tree more delicious, satisfying, and life giving than all – CHRIST HIMSELF!

Paul had revelations so great he could not even hint at what they were about, so startling and glorious that he fell as dead before the wonder of them, but he still cried out with deep desire, “THAT I MAY KNOW HIM...” (Phil 3:10).

It is that FULL, inward revelation of HIMSELF that we follow after.

This is an imperative MUST, and it is this very thing that is causing us to turn from the chambers of Babylon, yea, and to lay down our own lives also, that we might know HIS LIFE in fullest measure.

It is this which, as the parable states, “is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Mat 13:45-46).

Ah, yes, we gladly offer up all that we have, that we might receive HIM, and all the fullness of redemption which is resident in Him, our Tree of Life.

It is not only to find the one Apple Tree, but it is to take up our abode under its shadow. It is not only to taste of its fruit, but it is to eat and be filled with all the fruit that grows upon this divine Tree; it is to feed upon Him continually until we are filled with all the fullness of Christ, until we are strong in Him and in the power of His might.

Oh wonderful Tree that dwelt in the bosom of the Father from eternity!

Oh marvelous Tree planted of old in Eden’s lovely garden!

Oh precious Tree planted among men as the Son of the Father, planted by the power of the eternal Spirit, of whose fruit millions have partaken, and whose fruit is ours as we partake of it through faith!

Oh eternal fruit, gathered for the eternal Kingdom, as He brings many sons to glory and brings them home to His Father’s house! How sweet is this fruit to our taste, how satisfying is every morsel of which we partake! And we can feed to the full for the fruit is ever growing, ever being revealed to us, always perfect, and never passes away.

How we rejoice that we have proven there is fruit upon Him; and by feeding upon Him and Him alone, we too bear fruit to His glory. He is our Storehouse, He is the only fruitful Tree, and we can get nothing outside of Him, but we can get everything in Him. The more we feed upon Him, the more we abide in Him.

The more He feeds and nourishes us, the more He becomes manifested in our lives to the glory of God.

There is none other like Him among all the sons of men, neither among the archangels in heaven. And we are made ONE IN HIM, blessed be His name!