“She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.” (Proverbs 3:18)

She is the wisdom of God, and those who take hold of God’s wisdom will find happiness and peace. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) This verse of truth is the only place to start. In the beginning, God, only God, as in the beginning, there was nothing but God. Everything that is, came from a Divine intelligence and not by accidental circumstance. I cannot accept a big bang caused all we know and still cannot know to exist. No explosion has resulted in everything to rest in perfect harmony. There is no incident that dead matter came together and formed life. Without a higher intelligence, what we see of the known universe would not be in perfect harmony. The Divine intelligence is God the Father Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. All knowledge and the wisdom to use knowledge comes from God as He reveals it to us. We cannot imagine what is beyond our sight and the wonders and complexities of His work. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” What God has done beyond the heavens; no man has ever seen.

In the beginning, the earth was a reflection of God’s Heaven. Earth was a perfect paradise, as God’s Kingdom is eternal. If God created the heavens and the earth, then there is nothing in His Word that cannot be believed in faith. God created the heavens and the earth in six-days, in mature a state His creation was made. I will entertain the argument, but that is where my faith stays. Six days of labor and on the seventh day, God rested. Those of us who do not attend to this example of God will find themselves out of sync and destroy the natural progression of our life. When we do not set aside a day to keep holy and rest from our labors, we have broken our unity with the wisdom of His creation.

In seven days God created the vegetation of the earth, He created the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, God created the cattle and all the animals of the earth, and He created all the creeping creatures. God created all that is seen and unseen and spoke it into being by His Word. (Genesis). All that God created lived in the purpose that He had created it in harmony, and it was good. God then created the crown of His creation, mankind. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Mankind was not spoken into existence but formed from the dust of the ground. Of this creation, there was no life until God breathed His spirit into the nostrils of the man. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) God gave mankind the defining feature that set mankind apart from the rest of God’s earthly creation, a spirit. God is a Spirit and now mankind was spirit also in the flesh.

In the beginning, the man didn’t need faith, as all he needed was obedience. Faith believes in the unseen truth of God’s Word, and in the paradise of God, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. They did not need a prophet to hear from God and they did not need a priest to speak with God. They walked together in the Garden of Eden. They could see and trust their Creator and provider as He had created the heavens and the earth for them to have dominion over. There was contentment, there was happiness, and there was peace. All were righteous according to the will of God. Adam and Eve had one test, and that was to obey the Word of God. “Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing 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.” (Genesis 2:9)

Adam and Eve were not like their descendants of today. They lived in the perfect image of their Creator. They did not have thoughts of disobeying God’s Word, and they had no temptations to do so, as they enjoyed His fellowship. They were amazed by His creation, the abundant vegetation, the curious behaviors of the animal life, the amazement of fish living in the water, and the creeping things that labored to cultivate the garden. I have said and heard many say life was simple in the time long ago. I would not trade the complexities of today for the simple02/21/2020ness of the hoe and sickle. I think we have drifted so far from paradise in search of a utopia we have lost our way. We lack the discipline of obedience. It may have been simpler for Adam and Eve, as they only had to obey one rule. “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Satan had been cast out of the Kingdom of God for his prideful heart. Satan was God’s most beautiful angelic being. Satan was an Arch Angle, one of three, and had charge of a third of the heavenly host. Satan was so prideful that he thought his throne should be equal to God the Most High. As a result, Michael, another Arch Angel, forced Satan out of Heaven. Satan thought the earth was his world, and this is where he roamed freely with his demons. Now God had created Adam and Eve who have invaded his world. Satan hated them just as he hated God and devised a plan to hurt the heart of God and destroy mankind.

Satan took on the form of a serpent and came to Eve and twisted the truth of God’s command. Satan is the father of deceit and he turned around what God had said and Eve believed what Satan said. She believed that she too could be a god. She took the fruit of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil in the act of disobedience to the Word of God. Sin, disobedience of God’s Word entered into the society of mankind. The venom of the Serpent Satan had poisoned the mind and spirit of mankind and spiritual death fell on him. God is holy and above His creation, God is righteous and cannot be in the presence of sin. God’s creation was now fractured, fellowship with a man was lost, and paradise was lost. “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever … So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”  (Genesis 3:22; 24)

Today mankind has a sin-nature, a nature that is in love with the only world that can be seen. Mankind lives in shortsightedness and can only believe in what is seen. He no longer can see the Kingdom of God and yet lives within it. Mankind cannot believe in a Savior, even as he searches for a savior, but cannot see one. Mankind is filled with evil thoughts and angry ways to gain all he can have from a dying world. The tongue of mankind is a flaming dart that crushes all who oppose his desire for the way of the world. God in His love for His creation, sent Himself to pay the wage of mankind’s sin, which is death. “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

Jesus, the Son of God, came in the likeness of a man. Jesus, the Son of man, came and lived a righteous life amid a darkened world full of sinful behaviors. Jesus came to heal sin ravaged hearts with the light of His truth that mankind could once again be free. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.” (Proverbs) 11:30) Jesus, the Lamb of God, went to the cross and sacrificed His life to make atonement for the sins of the world. Jesus, as man’s Savior full of Grace, He offers forgiveness and salvation from the wrath of God to all who will believe and follow Him in faith. Today Jesus is, “The way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus is the way, the only way, to receive forgiveness, receive salvation, the power to live in a sin-darkened world, to have eternal life as a child of God in eternal Heaven. Those of you who have a relationship with Jesus is His Church. To the Church, Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

Where is the tree of life now? The Apostle John was taken up and had seen a vision of God’s Kingdom. “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)

Adam and Eve had a choice between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They made the wrong choice, and mankind has suffered ever since. By the grace of God, we have a choice to accept Jesus the Savior or continue to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The world has failed to learn the lessons of history and stumbles into the same mistakes. Do not be as the world and repent from it and turn towards the Kingdom of Heaven. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, February 19, 2020

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