Life or Death

God, man, and the tree of life were in the garden of Eden and will be in New Jerusalem. In contrast, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the garden but will not be in the city.

Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17)

Christ is lifeThese two trees signify two sources for man. These sources have corresponding lines through the whole Bible. One source and one line is God Himself, who is life and who brings man to eternal life. The other source and line is Satan, God’s enemy, who is death and who brings man to death. God placed man in the garden in front of these two trees, indicating that man faced a choice.

Man chooses between life and death. God desires strongly that man choose life but God does not force man to go this way. Rather, by His often hidden but compassionate care and by the attraction of His love, He woos man. Now is the time to choose the unlimited life, the life that is in Christ. If you have not yet, you can pray like this:

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming and dying and resurrecting for me. Cleanse me of all my wrongdoings. Please come into me to be my life, make me aware of Your life, and keep me on the line of life every day.

Throughout this age there is the struggle between life and death. Eventually a good number of people will choose life and become men filled with Jesus Christ as life. God will be expressed through them in a full way. Satan and death will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 14). That will be the termination of the tree of knowledge. God in Christ will flow through New Jerusalem as life (Revelation 22:1-2) and radiate His glory through the whole of New Jerusalem (v. 21:9-11) to have His living, eternal, corporate expression.

Photo of Ireland by Toby Shelton.

Further reading: select the pamphlet “Man and the Two Trees” in this list.

Related posts:
A Governing Principle in the Bible: the two Trees with two Lines, two Flows, and two Destinations!
The Two Lines in the Bible Issuing in Two Principles of Living

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7 Comments

  1. Marc

     /  May 15, 2013

    This really does get to the heart of reality. The choice has always been between life and death, not life in eternal bliss or life in eternal torment. Satan’s first lie recorded was, “you shall not surely die.” yet most Christians have fallen for the lie. The Platonic and pagan concepts of natural immortality and Satan’s lies have made God out to be some sort of a sadistic monster who tortures people for eternity. We remain alive after the death of the body not because we are naturally immortal, but because we are composed of a spirit, soul and body. The spirit keeps the soul alive until the Resurrection. The truth is we are all subject to the second death which is annihilation (see Revelation 20:14, Matthew 10:28 and John 3:16). I believe that most human beings will ultimately make the right choice. However, I believe that the fate of Satan and the demons is already sealed (see Ezekiel 28:13-19 and Matthew 25:41). The fact that Satan was already under the death sentence when he lied to Eve, makes the story even more powerful.

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  2. Moses hit this choice between life and death in Deut 30:16-20, saying to Israel, “If you obey the commandments of Jehovah your God, which I am commanding you today, to love Jehovah your God and walk in His ways and keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, then you will live and multiply, and Jehovah your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to possess….19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life that you and your seed may live, 20 In loving Jehovah your God by listening to His voice and holding fast to Him; for He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell upon the land which Jehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
    May many more people make the choice to love God and to take Him as their life.

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  3. What was life like for Adam and Eve before the fall? After they had just been created, what was Eden like for them? What did they think about? We know that they were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26), but what does this mean? These are difficult questions. We have only a tiny bit of information in the Genesis account. The rest we must deduce.

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    • David Kan

       /  May 20, 2013

      I got to admit that it’s fun to speculate on this sort of question. But that’s all it would be, speculation. I’ve discovered that it’s just as (or even more) fun to apply Christ in reality to all sorts of day-to-day situations.

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  4. Man was created “in the image of God” to be able to receive Christ “who is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15) and thereby be enabled to express God.
    Genesis 2 does not give much information but the Bible’s focus is not to convey information (although it does this to some extent). The focus of the Bible is Christ. We should receive Him as our life, give Him the preeminence, and live because of Him. He is rich to all who call on His name; these riches are far better than speculations about life in the garden of Eden.

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  1. The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem – A Biblical View
  2. No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem | New Jerusalem - the Consummation

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