From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

The Tale of Two Trees

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16)(NIV)

One of the other trees was the tree of life and they were free to eat the fruit of it.

These two trees stand for two important aspects of life. To eat the fruit from the tree of life would cause Adam and Eve to continue with God as their supreme ruler as he was when they were created, so for some time our original parents knew of no other way.

Of course all the angels had only experienced God as the supreme ruler too and it was not until an angel called “O Morning Star Son of Dawn” found out there is another when he thought to himself,

“I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)(NIV).

Until O Morning Star had this thought everything was perfect, but through this single thought another concept was introduced into God’s creation.  For the first time there was something totally independent from God anywhere in his universe. God had been in total control and therefore sustained the perfection of everything, but with a thought from another that was contrary to him being the supreme ruler would make it impossible for him to maintain the perfection of heaven.

God’s top priority is the eternal quality of heaven, and because even the slightest imperfection would compound and multiply till everything collapses, maintaining the perfection of it has to be his priority over everything.

If eating from the tree of life or continuing on as they were created sustained them with only God as their supreme authority. The fruit from tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave them the understanding there is another way of life that the angels only found out when O Morning Star challenge God.

So the earth was perfect when it was created, but when Adam ate the fruit from the wrong tree his perfection was destroyed which destroyed the perfection of the earth. So then he understood there is another way of life, a life where God is not in complete control. The angels witnessed what happened so both forms of life can observe the difference between God being in complete control and others having an input.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men,” Romans 5:12 (NIV).

So as sin entered the world through one man and death because of it. When sinfulness entered the world it did not in any way effect the perfection of heaven, but everyone can become aware of the fact that heaven must remain perfect, so everything on earth where imperfections are tolerated will be tested to check if it qualifies for heaven.

Because sinfulness is the result of one man, so we all became sinful, therefore if we are contrary in any way to God then we will be judged as imperfect, as it would destroy the eternal quality of heaven and therefore we must be barred from any contact with it.

This means the earth can be used as a testing ground, here God can demonstrate how he can overcome sinfulness as it is impossible for him to do it in heaven where sinfulness does not exist. Therefore in a sinful and hostile environment God’s love took upon himself the sinfulness of every single person and died the penalty of the sinfulness that bars us from heaven.

“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends”. (John 15:13)(NIV)

Never again will Jesus Christ have to die for the sinfulness of mankind, it is done and dusted. Jesus will never have to demonstrate his love again, the “perfect love” of God is now an established fact.

So because Jesus died on the cross the death that belongs to each one of us, then we are still alive with the life we had before we Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and of course this life is righteous.

 “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5-15) (NIV).

This means that everyone has the sinfulness we received from Adam, and at the same time we all have the righteousness Adam had at his creation.

From Adam we became sinful, but from Jesus through his death we have been given righteousness which being perfect is also eternal. This life passes the test and qualifies us for heaven.

In my case I started out sinful which would automatically bar me from heaven, but I (along with every other person on the planet) have received the righteousness of God because of the death of Jesus.

So now I have righteousness and am qualified to go to heaven. However when I believed in Jesus Christ, I also accepted the authority of God, so then I received the Holy Spirit to dwell within the righteousness of mine, and whose authority I accept. Therefore for all eternity I will bow to him and be part of doing whatever he (God) needs to.

Because of this I will be judged of having no detrimental effect to heaven along with every other believer, as none of us will ever be a threat to its perfection. We all pass the test, with the result we will live in heaven forever after our life here on earth is over.

Now everyone knows that the fruit from the tree of life will maintain God in the position of being outright ruler so he can sustain the perfection of his creation without any attempted input from others.

The fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will give everyone the understanding that there is “good” and “evil” which is contrary to the perfection of God and will not pass the test to qualify it for heaven.

The tree of life stands for eternal life with God in total control.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil stands for life where good and evil are both accepted, of which God cannot associate with as it would destroy his eternal quality.

Therefore so that we have eternal security we need to be aware that God will ultimately rule over us as he is the only one capable of such a task.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6+7)(NIV).

We can be totally confident of our eternal security because God through his Son will have complete control. Never again will there be any threat to his kingdom as he will establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness.

While Jerusalem is where David’s throne is situated, to contrast it there is another here on earth where God does not have total control, and where the policy of good and evil makes it possible for every and anything to occur. Good and evil rules out any involvement by God as it is far from perfect.

“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!

She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit.  (Revelation 18:2)  (NIV).

Although she has become great, she could not control those who like O Morning Star had rejected the authority of God, and in the process has only good and evil to function by.

“Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts ‘I sit as a queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn’. Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her; death mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”   (Revelation 18:7+8) (NIV).

So we know that the life span of Babylon is not eternal as it could not control those who did not accept the authority of God, in the same way she did not; “I will sit as a queen” (NIV).

However, Babylon had to make certain concessions as the divine nature and eternal power of God is seen by everyone so the gospel has to be admitted as one of its policies. Therefore there are believers within the city to whom God has this to say; “Come out her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;” (Revelation 18:4)  (NIV)

With this command there must be a way of telling who it applies to?

Authority is the underlying principle in our relationship with God. The defining factor is to whose authority we submit to as individuals, so while believing in Jesus we submit to the authority of God and this will cause God to give us the Holy Spirit to dwell within the righteousness we received through the death of Jesus. Then it is to him we need to submit to for the rest of eternity.

Of course we have our sinful natures which will cause us to commit sins so “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) (NIV).

The question needs to be asked; who are we confessing to?

The one to whom  we accept as our authority.

So to all those who submit to the authority of Babylon; God says “Come out of her my people” (NIV).

This is not an eternal issue. Everyone who belongs to God is always one of God’s children and this will never change.

But the moral of this story is to choose the Tree of Life where God has total control, and not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which could mean acceptance to the authority of Babylon here on earth.

Trevor Topsfield


Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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