Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Tree of Life - Revelation 2:7

Let’s pick it up today in Revelation 2:7 where it says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” I remember when I was in Bible College, I had a teacher who used to tell us that the reason God gave us one mouth and two ears was so that we would listen twice as much as we talk. That is very true.

What the Lord is saying is that we would all be wise to listen to both the compliments paid and the warnings given to this first Church of Ephesus. They were complimented for their great work, love, labor, patience, and because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans that we discussed last week. However, they were warned because they had left their first love. Yes, we would all be wise to take those compliments and warnings to heart.

If we do listen, we are told that God will give us the opportunity to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. The first place the tree of life is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 2:9 where it says, “And out of the ground made the LORD God 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.” Adam was later told by God that he could eat of everything in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). The implication is that he could have chosen to eat of the tree of life, but when given the option, choose not to do so.

Instead he chose to eat of the one tree God told him not to. Isn’t that just like us? You tell a child to do a hundred things but one, he will choose the one. It’s his rebellious nature that he inherited from you. You received it from your parents and they received it from theirs. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. The Bible says in Isaiah says in Isaiah 30:9, “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:”

What if Adam had chosen the tree of life first? He would have lived forever! But no, he chose to rebel and do exactly what God told him not to and ate of the tree of knowledge. It cost him paradise and his life. He and Eve were expelled from the garden because God did not want to allow them to turn and then take of the tree of life and live forever in their fallen sinful state. That’s the first time we see the tree of life in the Bible, but not the last.
Where is the tree of life now? We were just told in Revelation 2:7 that it is no longer in the Garden of Eden but in the “midst of the paradise of God.” That’s not the Garden of Eden, but Heaven. We are told this again in Revelation 22:1-2 where it says, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” And then again in Revelation 22:14 it says, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

Today, we have the same choice set before us: death or life. Unfortunately, Adam’s rebellion has already infected us all for it was passed down to us. However, there is a way of escape. We can still take of the tree of life through Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” If you do, you’ll live forever!

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