The Tree of Controversy
“Yahweh Elohiym planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made Yahweh Elohiym 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 knowledge of good and evil,” Geneses 2:8-9.
The data in these two verses are the sum and total of the information that was given to us concerning the planting of this mysterious tree known as the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If we attempt to compute this data with the “carnal mind,” it arouses a few mind-boggling questions. Why did Yahweh plant such a tree and make it so appealing to Eve, especially since he knew its fruit would be detrimental to his plans? Why did he not explain more thoroughly to Adam and Eve the consequences of eating the fruit? It might also ask, “Since the tree of knowledge was planted in the garden by Yahweh himself and its fruit was fatal to the first couple, what constructive purpose did it serve in the garden since, to our reasoning, it was of no benefit to mankind?”
Was It Wrong For Eve to
Desire to Be Wise?
Look closely at this tree from the eyes of our first mother: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise….” How differently was Eve in her choice of fruit from the modern Christian? My highest desire is to be like Yahweh, and I would think it was also Eve’s. The sly old serpent knew this and added this thought to his deceptive attack on her. “For Yahweh doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5-6. And in this, he was correct, “And Yahweh Elohiym said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…,” Genesis 3:22. We are introduced to Yahweh’s intentions for man in Genesis 1: 26, “And Yahweh said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” There is no record of him changing his plans—in fact, both Psalm eight and Hebrews two clearly state he did not change them.
Could man possibly be made into the image and likeness of Yahweh without having the knowledge of good and evil? Yahweh said, “Behold (see) the man has become as one of us to know good and evil.” Surely that attribute could not be evil in its substance if it is a God-likeness quality.
Did not Yahweh himself put the desire in Eve’s heart to be like Him? Is he responsible for the same desire that blooms in my own heart? If not, who is responsible for it?
On and on the questions could go? We could ask why Yahweh allowed the serpent to intimidate and deceive the innocent couple, especially since he knew that if they indulged they would drag the whole creation down with them, and it did.
No one will deny that we all died in Adam’s death (1 Cor. 15:22). In the creation story, the word Adam includes both the man and his wife (Gen. 5:2). If Yahweh desired the tree to be avoided, why did he put it in such a conspicuous place? Did Yahweh not know what would happen before he planted the tree? Is he not an omniscient Spirit?
I know I am treading on dangerous ground here, for these are forbidden questions, but they are questions that consistently arise in the minds of men, which most of the religious world has not chosen to deal with. But why haven’t they? Is it not truth that will set us free from death’s bondage? One would be tempted to think that Yahweh knew that Adam would eat of the tree and cleverly worked it into the scheme of salvation.
There are religious people who have rejected the creation story–they just do not believe that it is true. I think it is dangerous to reject any part of the Bible, and I, for one, do not question the authenticity of the Scripture. It does not matter to me how Yahweh brought me into existence; the important thing is he was the one who did it. Now it is up to me to yield my vessel to him and allow him to fill it until it lines up with his intentions for me.
To believe the creation story, one must realize how important it is to hear the spiritual or symbolic messages that are found in the Bible stories, and this includes the creation story. We have learned through the years that “it is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits, nothing…,” John 6:63. And then we hear Paul say, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: and afterward that which is spiritual,” 1 Corinthians 15:46.
I have arrived at the place where I would like to leave the natural and move on into that which is spiritual. There has been much controversy over the nationality of Christ; most of us hung around on that street corner at one time or another, but I don’t go there any more.
We need to listen closely to what Paul tells us about the union between the Lord and his Church: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church,” Ephesians 5:30-32. We would be awfully naïve to think that Paul accidentally quoted Genesis 2:23-24 here. Paul intended to help us get above Adam’s mentality and to start seeing with spiritual eyes. With the spirituality of Genesis now being obvious, we can freely leave natural Adam behind and investigate the spiritual aspect of Genesis’ creation story by comparing it with Paul’s admonition to the Church in Ephesians five.
One of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible is found in Hebrews 9:27. When it is read by the natural mind, it throws us completely off the subject of that text. But before we introduce this scripture, we need to understand the meaning of death. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be,” Romans 8:6-7.
Now that it is clearly understood that the death that separates us from Yahweh is the carnal mind, let us go to Hebrews 9:24-28: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures (symbolic) of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of Yahweh for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world (ages) has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Let us notice what the subject is in the above text. Paul was plainly dealing with our redemption through the sacrifice of Yasha. He is shown here to bring deliverance from the death of mankind through the sacrifice of himself; that, my friend, is substitution. Paul strives to make it clear that all mankind had been appointed unto death. When was my appointment unto death (carnal mindedness) made? And who made it?
“For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (depravity, transient ness), not willingly (voluntary), but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of Yahweh. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, “but ourselves also,” which have the firstfruits of the Spirit (Holy Spirit), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption (son-placing), to wit (that is), the redemption of our body,” Romans 8:20-23.
Who does Paul say subjected us to this carnality? The Creator, of course! But why did he do an awful thing like that? He did it in hope. But before we go into that subject we need to further comment on the subject of the judgment that followed the appointed death. That judgment would follow death was as sure to come as was our appointment with death. But when did this judgment fall on man? It didn’t fall on us, because it fell on Christ, our substitute. This was what Paul was referring to. The above scripture did not say that my death was the consequences of my sin; my sin was the consequence of my death (carnal mindedness) in Adam. It says I was appointed unto death. But Yasha was appointed to become my substitute, my sin bearer. The judgment of man fell on him. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” We find a scripture it John that substantiates this truth. “The next day John saw Yasha coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of Yahweh, which takes away the sin of the world,” John 1:29.
And what did Isaiah add to this thought? “Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Yahweh, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isaiah 53:4-5.
There is a constant debate that continues throughout the ages concerning the strength of the sacrifice of Yasha. Some say his sacrifice covered our adamic sin only; others say he covers all sin. The above scripture answers this debate; “He (Yasha) was bruised for our iniquity.” I inherited spiritual death from my father Adam; I followed his path because I was born with an inclination to rule and take dominion. I was too blind to be aware of Light. I stumbled in my darkness; in fact, I was so spiritually blind, I did not know that Spirit Light existed. My nature was my problem; I did nothing but blunder. But Yahweh had the solution to my problem. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
I certainly do not want anyone to think I am saying that Yahweh caused Adam to sin, or even tempted him to sin. Yahweh gave Adam a very superior thinking capacity; in fact the brain that Yahweh put in the head of man has the capability of containing all truth. But it was not preprogrammed with all truth. Yahweh gave man eyes to see and power to choose. He gave man an initiative and power to think and make decisions. But man was to take responsibility for his actions and suffer the consequences of his actions. Sin came by man. Sin is not an act, it is a condition Adam was born in and he was incapable of producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the ability to fail or excel came from our Creator. Had he made us without the potential to falter, he would have made us without the ability to make the choices that promote growth. We would have been computers that the Father could not find fellowship with. He begets us by the word of Truth. As he visits us, his light awakens our spirit to hear his voice, and it is through the hearing that we are united with him. But our old adamic nature must be crucified, deprived of its influence over our minds. We must rise above our old adamic mentality. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
In Revelation 22:2, John tells of seeing the Tree of Life. The strange thing about this tree is that it was in the middle of the street in Holy Jerusalem and it was also growing on both sides of the River of Life. If we are talking natural here, we surely must know that no one tree can be in three places at one time. We must also know the River of Life that flows out of our bellies is the anointed word (Christ). Christ is the Tree of Life. He is the Light that disannuls the darkness. He entered into our death realm—he came in the flesh, to the flesh man (those under the law). He shined his glory upon that generation.
There have been many marvelous miracles throughout the ages, but no glory has shined upon any other generation that was equal to that glory that was shown upon that generation. But they rejected Yahweh’s warning. They didn’t have spiritual eyes to see the Tree of Life.
Religion, or the carnal mind, supplies us with rules and laws that are absolutely necessary to survival on the natural realm. These rules can be as hard as stone. They make no difference between the learned and the unlearned. They must not be bent nor broken. These rules make judgment according to the results of an action, not according to the individual’s realm of comprehension. They are often administrated to people of little understanding.
I have thus far presented the tree of controversy negatively, because the modern clergy almost always presents it that way. But in dealing with the creative work of a Mastermind, we must always keep him enthroned and in charge. We cannot entertain a thought that Yahweh is not consistently in control of his plans, without creating a depth of darkness that sinks the whole creation into oblivion. But to present Yahweh as the Mastermind that does everything according to his own will makes him responsible or the first cause of all situations. And I insist he is for “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made,” John 1:3-4.
“For by him (Yahweh) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist,” Colossians 1:16-18.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created,” Revelation 4:11.
When I was in my early teens, I chose to pick up the cigarette habit; the Father allowed me to make the choice. He alone put tobacco on earth. He knew that certain people would choose to take the leaves of the deadly weed, roll them in paper and entice innocent children to smoke them.
By the time I was twenty-six, tobacco had completely destroyed my lungs. I desired to stop smoking, but I did not have the strength. When I heard the message of deliverance from Brother Groomer as he ministered in Tempe, Arizona, I did not wait; I went forward and asked him to pray for my deliverance. I received it instantly, and I have never craved another cigarette from that day to this. Not only was I delivered, but soon afterwards, I was completely healed of the devastating effect smoking had had on my lungs.
Was Yahweh responsible for the tobacco weed? Yes. Did Yahweh cause me to crave cigarette smoke? No—I did not crave the tobacco until after I smoked the cigarette. Did Yahweh make me smoke cigarettes? No, but Yahweh took advantage of my weakness and desire to smoke the deadly tobacco weed to rescue me from my spiritual darkness. My physical need for deliverance opened the door to a spiritual sphere that I was ready to embrace with gratitude. I had heard the word ministered, but I needed more—I needed a personal touch. Through my deliverance, he touched me. With my ability to choose, in spite of my ignorance to his laws, I had created the perfect situation that revealed my helplessness and dependence on him. I cried out for his help and he answered. This experience taught me more about the Love of the Father than I could have learned in a thousand sermons. The pain and misery I experienced in learning that lesson was more than is necessary to numerate here, but it was worth it.
If my choice had been not to smoke, I would have been making a much wiser choice. I would have been going in the right direction. I did not make a wise choice, but I, not the Father, made that choice. He did not force me to call on him for help; I could have chosen to die. I had sinned against my body, but my Father did not forsake me. He had positioned the right people at the right place and time. I hope I have made my point clear.
Eve also made a choice. If Eve had looked closely at the Tree of Life, she would have found the knowledge she craved, but with it would have came wisdom, power, and eternal life.
The Bible teaches us that Yahweh’s words are Spirit and they are Life. When Eve rejected the Word, she rejected the Spirit and Life. She suddenly knew what was right and what was wrong, but she had refused the power that had the potential to fulfill the righteousness of that law.
The Tree of Life is the anointed (or in-Christed) Word; its fruit: love, joy, peace, etc., is full of Life’s energy. This energy initiates a change in the spirit of its recipient, and becomes death to the carnal mind, because it lays out a rule, or law, to the natural mind that can do nothing more than condemn the carnal man. He sees the law as good, but he cannot attain to its demands. In Life, one receives the ability to rule over his life through submission to truth. The person depending only on the knowledge of good and evil seeks to rule by head knowledge. We make choices just as Eve did; we choose to live by the Spirit, or we choose death by choosing the dead letter (that is, hearing the law, but continuing to reject Life’s principle).
Yasha made a statement in John 15:22, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” Their ignorance was their cloke. Being ignorant is a cloke for the ones who are trapped in it, but it does not transport them from the death realm to the light realm. It takes Light to destroy darkness. It takes truth to destroy ignorance. Sin is not an act; it is a condition of the mind. “Therefore to him that knows to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin,” James 4:17.
When Eve rejected righteousness she, became a transgressor because her eyes were opened to righteousness and she saw herself as a transgressor. She had rejected Yahweh when she rejected the Spirit of Righteousness and chose to reach her goal by her own understanding. She entertained an attitude that opposed righteousness and truth. By reacting to the accusation against the righteousness of Yahweh, she birthed a spirit of doubt and rebellion against the spirit of Life and Truth. We make the same mistake when we choose to excel in life, but choose to do it on our own without seeking the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us wise decisions.
In the Kingdom realm, we must rule by submission to righteousness. We pick up our life by laying our adamic nature down; we gain all things by giving it up. We get by giving. We win our wars by turning the other cheek. We eliminate our enemies by making them our friends. If we do not know what this means, we have not received the much needed revelation of the Spirit of Love.