Wade E Taylor
"And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree
grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every
tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not
eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall
surely die" Gen 2:9, 16-17 NKJ.
The Lord God placed man in a probationary environment so
he could be tested. Two trees were placed in the midst of
his daily activities as the means by which this testing would
be accomplished - the "Tree of Life" and the "Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil."
These two trees were diversely different in their intent
and purpose. Adam was told to freely partake of the one; but
he was forbidden to eat of the other.
The Tree of Life related to the spiritual life that the Lord
had put within Adam. In order to live, it was necessary for
him to partake of it on a regular basis. This established
his full dependence upon his Creator. The other, the Tree
of Knowledge, related to the natural life that the Lord had
breathed into Adam and afforded him the opportunity to become
independent from God.
A description of "The Tree of Life" is found in
Isaiah, chapter 53, which reveals that Jesus is the tree of
"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground. He has no form
or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no
beauty that we should desire Him" Isa 53:2 NKJ.
Jesus is seen by fallen mankind as being a root out of a
dry ground, having no form or comeliness that would make Him
desirable. The beauty of Jesus is therefore within and is
recognized only through regeneration.
The "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" however,
is quite different. It is pleasant to the eye, edible as food,
and really tastes good. In other words, the way of the flesh
is attractive to every aspect of the fallen human makeup,
whereas spirituality is uninviting.
We might ask, "Lord, why didn't you make it the other
way around?" It would seem that spirituality should have
been made attractive and sin ugly. A unique advertisement
used by the Marines some time ago illustrates for us the answer
to the above question. It said, "The Marines are looking
for a few good men." This is what the Lord is looking
for, those who will choose Him for Himself, not "because
of," but rather, "in spite of." Jesus said,
"For many are called, but few are chosen" Matt 22:14.
Or, "Few will pay the price in order to be chosen."
By Divine design, there is a price to being chosen by the
Lord. Therefore, the Lord placed the beauty within. It can
be seen only by a spiritual perception that is given to those
who truly desire Him.
The tabernacle in the wilderness displayed ugly badger skins
outwardly. But within was a beautiful royal blue covering,
and His Shekinah presence. It contained a wondrous glory which
cannot be described - only experienced.
By divine arrangement, it takes a determined effort to press
through to behold the beauty of the Lord. Few will push past
the hindrances to gain this prize.
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Phil 3:14.
"But from the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of the Heavens is taken by violence,
and the violent seize on it" Matt 11:12 Darby.
In the Garden, the enemy said, "You will not die, but
you will become as gods being able to choose for yourselves."
Eve "ate" this right to "self determination"
and gave to Adam who also partook. Today, we are yet paying
a terrible price for mankind becoming "as gods"
and ruling himself apart from His Creator.
Later, in the cool of the evening, the Lord came to walk
with Adam, who hid from His presence. Adam explained that
he hid because he was naked. But, he had not lost his clothing.
Rather, he lost the "Shekinah covering" that enabled
him to abide the manifest presence of the Lord. This Shekinah
now became a "flaming sword" to keep the way of
the tree of life.
This was done, "Lest Adam put forth his hand, and take
also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever."
What the Lord did was to hinder Adam from partaking and as
a result, death set in. He died instantly in that he lost
the covering that enabled him to live in the presence of the
Lord. Also, less apparent, he physically died within one day.
Peter tells us that one day is as a thousand years. Adam,
and all who followed him, died short of a thousand year day.
This flaming sword, His Shekinah, later appeared to Moses
as a burning bush that was not consumed. His Shekinah again
appeared during the dedication of Solomon's temple. It so
affected the priests that they were unable to function due
to the intensity of the manifested glory. It appeared also
in the Holy of Holies, and upon Jesus in the Mount of Transfiguration.
This Shekinah is an aspect of the glory of God that enables
us to come into His presence. Scripture tells us that "no
man can see the face of God and live" Exodus 33:20. Yet
the Lord said concerning Moses,
"And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like
Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face" Deut 34:10.
Moses' exposure to the presence of the Lord was so prolonged
and intense that when he stood before Israel, his face radiated
the glory of God. Israel's response may be summarized as,
"Moses, you can preach all you want, we have a clear
channel from one ear to the other. But we cannot bear the
sight of the Glory of God. Cover your face when you speak
to us" (see II Cor 3:7-13).
"For if the ministration of the condemnation is glory,
much more doth the ministration of the righteousness
abound in glory" II Cor 3:9 Youngs Trans.
This tells us that the glory we experience under grace is
greater than the glory which Moses experienced. Unlike Moses,
no one today is being asked to cover their face when they
minister the Word. This indicates to us that there is much
available to us that we have failed to appropriate and to
On the day of Pentecost, cloven tongues of fire (Shekinah)
descended. John had said,
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance,
but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly
purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire" Matt 3:11-12.
In Topeka Kansas, at a small Bible school on New Years eve
in 1900, a young lady received the infilling of the Holy Spirit
and spoke in tongues. The next day, many more received and
this experience spread around the world.
Through this experience of receiving the Holy Spirit and
speaking in tongues, the Pentecostal movement was born. There
followed a "latter rain" visitation and later, the
"charismatic" revival. The "evidence"
of this experience has remained, "speaking in tongues."
However, John said, "The Holy Spirit and FIRE."
This "fire" relates to the cloven tongues of fire
that descended on the day of Pentecost. The Flaming Sword
that kept the way of the Tree of Life became a friend and
descended as "cloven tongues, as of fire" to restore
the glory of God to His church. The covering that Adam lost
has again been made available to us.
We have experienced the visitation of the Holy Spirit and
tongues, but we have yet to experience the visitation of the
Holy Spirit and fire.
Adam and Eve "ate" the right to choose for themselves,
which then became a part of them. The Lord slew an animal,
the first application of blood redemption, and covered them
with the skin of this animal. Their sin was forgiven, but
what they had eaten remained in them - the right to choose
Likewise, each one of us were born with this right of choice.
When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are forgiven and become
a new creation, but this right to choose for ourselves remains
with us. We gained it in the Garden of Eden and the Lord will
not take it from us.
But, we can give up this right to our own lives. The Word
"If any one wishes to follow me, let him renounce
self and take up his cross, and so be my follower.
For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake shall find
it" Matt 16:24-25 Weymouth.
In the Year of Jubilee, slaves were set free. But if they
choose to remain a slave, their ear was placed on the post
of the door and pierced (Exodus 21:6). Years ago in a service,
this became a reality to me. I went forward to the pulpit
and expressed my desire to give up the right to my own life.
The edge of the pulpit became (to me) the post of this door
and I bent over and asked the Lord to pierce my ear. He would
not take the right to my life from me, but He accepted it
when I gave it to Him.
More than once I have complained and said, "Lord this
is not right." The Lord has always responded, "You
have no rights, you freely gave them up." Over many years,
I have learned that the Lord knows best. This understanding
did not come right away, but I have found that I am far better
off having given up all to Him.
Many Christians have not personally, subjectively, given
the right to their life unconditionally to the Lord to become
a love slave, giving Him full authority over their lives.
A kingdom requires three things. A territory, a ruler, and
those that are ruled over. He is the King, but will rule only
those who have personally given Him permission to do so.
Once I have done this, He is no longer just Jesus my Saviour,
or Christ Jesus the anointed one, my healer and baptizer.
He has become the LORD Jesus Christ, to whom I have fully
submitted my life, and who now rules over me. The Lord has
brought me back into a cooperative, personal relationship
with Himself that was lost in the Garden of Eden.
Also, the Shekinah will yet be fully restored to those who
have unconditionally submitted themselves to Him and have
embraced the "Holy Spirit and Fire." In our times
of testing, He will purge all dross, until His Shekinah shall
shine forth as the noon day sun through those who are fully
redeemed and have made Him their Lord.