Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 11 March 2019

She (Wisdom) is a tree of life Proverbs 3:18

She (Wisdom) is a tree of life Proverbs 3:18


 3:18 She (Wisdom) is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Within this pleasant garden Yahweh Elohim placed two trees which were symbolic of his relationship with mankind. The tree of life was symbolic of God’s promise of immortal life to those who chose to follow his ways rather than the way of human nature. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was in the garden as a test for mankind and to allow free will. They could follow God’s way or the way of human nature looking for instant pleasure.

Revelation speaks of the tree of life as symbolic and therefore there was no actual tree of that character in Eden

"The tree of life also in the midst of the garden" — Adam's spiritual requirements were also provided for in the tree of life. From Rev. 2:7 it appears that the tree of life was a symbol of immortality, and this is supported by a description of its life giving qualities as described by the Elohim (Gen. 3:22). The tree of life is likened to the Divine Wisdom (Prov. 3:18), the fruit of the righteous (Prov. 11:30), a wholesome tongue (Prov. 15:4), and so forth. They all, being related to the Truth, lead to life eternal (1 Pet. 1:23-25).

The Tree of Life occupied a place in the "midst of the garden" with the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" (cp. Gen. 3:3). Here were symbolically provided the two choices or two ways for mankind: obedience or sin; life or death.

If we consider the Garden of Eden symbolically, and view the river that ran through it as a foreshadowing of the River of God (Psa. 46:4) expressive of the Truth in Christ Jesus, the four chief streams typically illustrate lessons that one must learn in order to partake of the Tree of Life (Rev. 2:7). What is the first lesson? It emphasises the principles of separation (compasseth), eternal life (Havilah, circle), and faith represented by gold (see 1 Pet. 1:7).

"The tree of life … the paradise of God." Compare Gen. 2:9; 3:22; also the Lord Jesus says, "I am the vine: ye are the branches" (John 15). He is the tree of life, and the Paradise is the Kingdom of God in the Holy Land (Ezek. 36:35).

Jesus is "the tree of life" symbolized from the beginning by the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. His body of "many members" is represented by the "very many trees" of the Ezekiel Paradise (Ezek. 47:7), which literally "beautify the place of God's sanctuary" (Is. 60:13). He and they are the substance of the symbol in this place. Leaves and fruit. Contrast the vision of the tree of Babylon (Dan. 4) and compare the language of Psa. 1:3.

To eat of the tree of life is to be granted Life eternal (Gen. 3:22). This was denied Adam and his posterity, but will be permitted the "seed" of the second Adam (cp. Isa. 53:10; 1 Cor. 15:45). Thus the first and the last books of the Bible are joined as a bridge: the former showing how things began, the latter showing how they will end. Eden will be restored; the second Adam will be joined in marriage to the second Eve (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7) and will be united "as one" in the paradise of Deity (Gen. 2:23; John 17:21). "To eat of the Tree of Life is to be an unfading leaf, an immortal possessor of the glory, honour and incorruptibility of the Kingdom which the God of heaven will set up in the Age to come" (Eureka). The saints are likened to trees in Paradise—cp. Ps. 1; Rev. 22:2.

The word of God is likened to a tree of life because of its effect upon those who partake thereof (see Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4).

Revelation 22:2 down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side [there were] trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees [were] for the curing of the nations

Revelation 22:2 "And on either side of the river, was there the trees of life"—It would not be possible to have a single tree both inside the city, and on either side of a river that flows therefrom. The greek word can relate to a wood, or a forest of trees; and that, obviously, is its meaning here. The symbol is based upon the literal forest that Ezekiel saw in vision spring up along the banks of the river of living water that flowed out from the Temple (Ezek. 47:12).

Thus, the Spirit in Jesus said, "I am the life;" "I am the Vine, and ye (my apostles) are the branches." Here was a tree consisting of fourteen living persons, all animated by one and the same life-principle; namely, the Spirit, Jesus, and the Twelve Apostles. Now let this idea be extended so as to embrace "the multitude which no man can number" -- all IN Jesus Anointed" -- and we have a tree, which in the beginning was "as a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden, and it grew and waxed a great tree, and the fowls of the air came and lodged in the branches of it" (Luke 13:18) -- a tree, which with its feathered songsters of the aerial, is apocalyptically symbolized by a Wood of trees in the Garden, or Paradise of the Deity.

Trees and leaves are sometimes used as symbols to describe the redeemed in glory (see Psa. 1:3; 92:12; Isa. 60:21; 65:22). The water emanating from the Christ-altar, will be drawn up by the roots of these symbolic trees causing growth and producing fruit. As in the natural, so in the spiritual: as natural leaves help to purify the air so these symbolic leaves "breathe" and help purify the millenial air. They represent the Redeemed who will convey the purifying teaching of Jesus Christ to the world at large (Isa. 30:20-21; Jer. 3:15; Mic. 4:1-4),
"Which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruits every month"—This, again, shows that John saw a forest of trees, and not a single tree. Some of the "fruits" to be produced through the influence of the water of life are outlined in Prov. 3:16-18; Gal. 5:22. The number twelve identifies the fruit with the hope of Israel, and suggests the monthly pilgrimages and services that will form part of the ministry of saints in the age to come (see Isa. 66:23).

"And the leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations"—They shall act as health-giving herbs (cp. Ezek. 47:12). Figuratively, these leaves relate to the administration of the saints in the Kingdom of the age to come. The influence of their teaching will be to heal the nations of the ills that afflict them today. In natural life mankind is utterly dependent on plants or leaves for their nourishment because even the fish and flesh eaten is from creatures that feed on plants. 
Moreover, leaves breathe in the poisonous carbon dioxide which man breathes out, and breathes out pure oxygen so essential to life. So leaves purity the air, as the Redeemed will purify the political, social, and moral atmosphere of the age to come. Thus, once again, Yahweh's purpose is illustrated by the facts of nature.

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