I was reading The Harvest by Rick Joyner. He has been making some good points, though I disagree with how he reads scriptures in an almost completely allegorical fashion. Some would say that you must find the moments of metaphor and the moments of literal, but I think we must find out how the two interact, since that is the case 9 times out of 10. He keeps mentioning the tree of knowledge and mentions that it is always bad, though the idea of knowing things can be seemingly good. I am suspicious of this reading. It has to be something more.
Are we talking about knowing facts and intelligence?
Or is there something bigger going on?
I was reading about the tree of knowledge of the good things and the bad things. God placed it in the middle of the garden. His reason is not really explained, but what is known is that God commands man not to eat of this tree, or else, be dead because of that tree, or maybe not. maybe the point is not the fruit of the tree or even the tree itself. Maybe the act of disobedience is more connected to the knowledge of good and evil than the tree itself.
I cannot help but look up the meaning of knowledge in hebrew. One the word yada is very debated sometimes. I think one meaning that is out of the question is a sexual sense. Another would be that it means to notice or observe, but this would not be enough to condemn someone. The few meanings that caught my eye were the following: to find out/experience; to understand; to know; to have insight/judgement.
To have insight into good and evil is plausible, but it’s a big maybe.
To simply know it is even more plausible, but I can see problems with this when thinking in a modern way of knowing (this seems to be connected to Joyner’s reading, though Joyner goes overboard with it).
To understand does not strike me as plausible since that only means you understand the concept of good and evil.
To find out or experience is the one that has me convinced. Let me explain further.
After the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge, God begins to further create the perfect setting for man. It is described by using the relationship between the man and the woman. Some would say that the created order is man over woman, but it is actually egalitarian. Man and woman were actually created equal and there was no higher or lower gender until after the fall. (see Genesis 2:5-3:22) There is more to this knowledge and it can be discovered by reading the rest of Genesis and the entirety of the story of God and man. God seeks to remedy man wanting to find our or experience good and evil. To put it simply, we could call the Tree of Life the Tree of Good and the Tree of Knowledge the Tree of Evil or Rebellion, since the Scriptures present it in such a way.
Now, let’s move to the very end of the world as we know it. And to do that, I will go all the way to the Revelation to John. It’s funny that a tree of life is mentioned once at the beginning and three times at the end. At the beginning, John quotes Jesus as guaranteeing that those who listen to the Spirit and conquer in the way He requires (which is surprisingly connected to doing good works) will get to eat of the Tree of Life. Now go back to the list of meaning for knowledge, and see what it would mean to eat of one of these trees. Maybe knowing is finding out and experiencing life again.
The next three times the tree of life is mentioned are in Revelation 22 (specifically verses 2, 14, and 19). It’s funny that the leaves that are produced heal the nations. That has to be connected to doing works that conform to God’s will. In verse 14, the ones who wash their robes will have the right to the Tree of life. If you have done some text criticism, you will know that there are some ancient sources that “wash their robes and do his commandments.” Considering the context of verse 2:7, I cannot help but think that the supposed addition is an original. The point is that the earliest believers wanted to make sure that works were not separated from loving God. The last mention takes an understanding of what prophecy is. I will not go into too much detail except to say that prophecy, in my opinion, is only the pointing out the wrongs of the people of God and leading them to the right way to live by God’s will.
So the Tree of Knowledge is not about seeking scientific knowledge or mathematical formulas (as Joyner proposes), but about having control over your good and evil. In order to control what you experience, you have to have the control that God was meant to have over your life. If you have that control, then you can do whatever you want, good or bad. You can also choose to have and experience life, which can only come from obedience to God.
The Tree of Knowledge of the Good and the Evil is rebellion and control.
The Tree of Life is obedience and surrender…
and what He has to offer.
Instead of proving that there were two trees, that there was a garden, that the end times will be ruled by the anti-christ, or that the rapture will happen,
prove that you are experiencing the Life that God has to offer.
Grace and peace to you all.