Tree of life and death Edited 400x300A Journey Back to the Tree of Life. What the first 3 chapters and last 3 chapters of the Bible have in common. The human struggle is a journey throughout life filled with conflicting ideas and circumstances of both good and evil that lead one closer to God’s truth or further from God’s truth. Those that receive Jesus Christ as their savior have managed to find the truth in a crazy world. This truth is called the Word of God and it contains God’s ultimate plan to bring people back to the Tree of Life through their own freewill and desire to inherit God’s eternal blessings.

What is the Tree of Life?

The Tree of Life provides eternal life to anyone that eats of its fruit according to Genesis Chapter 3:22.  It is first mentioned in Genesis 2:9 along with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  This second tree contains the forbidden fruit God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat, as it will cause them to surely die (Genesis 2:17).  And of course, it is the very beginning in Genesis chapter 1 in which God creates everything including the Garden of Eden and these 2 trees.

The first 3 chapters of the Bible describe paradise and how evil entered the world, deceived Adam and Eve and they lost paradise in Eden, banished from it and from eating of the fruit of the Tree of Life.  The last 3 chapters of the Bible describe the very opposite, explaining what it will be like when evil is finally removed from the presence of God’s people forever along with all people judged to have chosen in their lifetime to remain outside of God’s Kingdom.  At that time, God’s people will regain paradise, including the Tree of Life once again, as was the will of God from the very beginning.

What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

Simply stated, it is the Tree of Death.  Its fruit contains the curse of death upon mankind.  This death is a spiritual death as a result of sin which is the act of choosing one’s own will over God’s will.  “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God in his presence, not knowing of any of the struggles that all humans have faced since their original sin.  That sin has made every human since Adam and Eve to be subject to the consequences of evil and Satan’s lies in this world.  Ever wonder why God permits evil in the world?  We inherited it by mankind’s freewill decisions to not obey God, not follow his teachings and by rejecting his Son, Jesus Christ. But followers of Christ have faith in the inheritance of a new life and new world free from all evil.

New Jerusalem, Heaven on Earth

When Jesus comes again and delivers the kingdom of God on Earth, it is referred to as the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, chapter 21.  Verse 3 says, “God’s home is now among his people.  God will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All of these things are gone forever.”  That is great news for God’s people that pass the test in this life and inherit the Kingdom of God.  The deceitful influence of evil tempting them away from the perfect will of God and blessings of God will no longer be present in this new heavenly realm.  In Revelation 22:1-3 it describes this heaven as having another river flowing through the middle (remember Eden did as well).  The Tree of Life, one on each side of the river in fact, will be there.  Revelation 22:3 says “No longer will there be a curse upon anything.”  Remember that in Genesis the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil contained the curse of death on mankind.  In Heaven it is gone, thank God.  It won’t exist there.  Evil will be gone forever. Satan will be gone forever, cast into the lake of fire with all the demons and the people that did not choose Jesus and the kingdom of God. This is referred to as the “Second Death” in Revelation 20:14 and 21:8.  

The Choice Between Two Trees

Human life throughout the ages from Adam, the first person, to whomever will be the last person is the story of individuals making the choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death.  To those that go through life’s struggles and trusts in the Lord and choose Jesus have chosen the Tree of Life and will regain it in paradise.  They will reach the end and have come out, not just better, but perfect and glorified.  God’s love and grace is such that he even gives us countless chances to make the right choice for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins anytime during our life.  And God is always faithful to his Word and therefore his justice and punishment for rejecting his love and saving grace are definite and could not be made any clearer in the Bible.

The Bible doesn’t say what happens to the Tree of Death, but Revelation 20:14 may give us a hint.  It says, “Then death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.”  I have a theory on the Tree of Death with two parts to it:

The first part is that the Tree of Death will not and cannot exist in Heaven.  God has always promised to deliver us from evil and bring us out of our troubles as it says in Psalm 34:19.  He not only brings us out, but does so even better than we were before the trouble started.  And perhaps Psalm 23 says it best as we consider David’s words here in his song of faith: “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.”

The second part of my theory is that the Tree of Death will be cast into the lake of fire on Judgement Day.  Many in life will choose to follow their own will rather than God’s will and they will reject Jesus and therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, reject entering the kingdom of God for eternity.  Instead they will have chosen to eat from the Tree of Death during their lifetime and they will inherit its curse forever.  The lake of fire is where they are going and they will be taking the Tree of Death with them along with every evil, sorrow, crying and pain that it guarantees.  They will certainly have gained the knowledge of good and evil on judgement day when they know with certainty that they bought Satan’s lie rather than receive the free gift of God’s truth and will miss out on an eternity of goodness and are stuck with an eternity of only evil.

Getting on the Path to Life

If your life’s journey has left you wondering why there is so much evil in the world, what is the purpose of life, and what your purpose in life is, then I hope what I have written here helps you to understand God’s plan a little better now.  Your purpose in life is to pass this test of faith and believe that God’s promises in the Bible are true, salvation through Christ alone is true.  The only path to becoming spiritually awakened and connected to God is by receiving Jesus as your Lord and savior.  When you take that step of faith,  the Holy Spirit and giver of life brings your spirit to life for the first time.  This is called being born again.  One thing always happens with a person that has been born again.  A change occurs best described by the lyrics of “Amazing Grace.”  The lyrics say, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.”  If you are not certain where you stand with God and eternity, and if you fear the reality of the second death and lake of fire, that is your God-given conscience telling you that your spirit is wanting to come alive.  Let the grace of God relieve those fears and open your eyes.  Say a prayer and confession to Jesus.  Ask him for forgiveness of all your sins and to show you the light and truth of a redeemed new life as a believer.  Tell him you now make him your Lord and Savior and that you want him in your life by receiving the Holy Spirit so he can transform your life.  Now, go find one of the people you thought was a little nuts for Jesus and tell them you want to know more about Jesus and the Bible.  Start reading the Bible and get into a Bible based Christian church and you will have begun your journey back to the Tree of Life.

Brian Rossi                     Return To “Articles on Fire”