All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
April 29, 2008
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 18655
MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
Visit our Web sites at:
2008 by Merle E. Koepke
All Rights Reserved
For a better understanding of this subject watch for and download the Complete Book from our Web sites titled,
There were two trees in the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9). There was in the garden the Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. "Man," beginning with Adam and Eve were given the choice of which trees they would eat the fruit of. It says in Genesis 2:16,17, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:...But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
"Man," along with Adam and Eve choose to eat of the wrong tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). Did you know that the LORD God was not speaking to Adam alone in Genesis 2:16, where it says, "And the LORD God commanded the man (adam), saying..."? There is a miss translation in the English Bibles by putting the word "the" in front of the word "man" in this verse. Did you know that the Hebrew word "adam," used in Genesis 2:16 means "mankind in general" (both male and female)? It does not mean "Adam" (an individual person by the name of Adam). The LORD God was speaking to every human being that ever lived upon this earth, beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing on until Judgment Day, which is the day spoken of in Revelation 20:12.
Our English Bibles do not reveal these truths. The truth of what was said is only found by studying the Hebrew and the Greek, which are the inspired Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21). Christians need to check the Hebrew and Greek also, for every person will stand before the LORD and be judged according to that which is written in the books (Rev. 20:10,12).
In Genesis 2:17, the LORD God said, "...of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The LORD God was speaking to "all mankind" (including you and I) at the time when this was spoken in Genesis 2:17.
In Genesis, Chapters, One and Two, the LORD God was preparing for mankind (including you and I), to have an everlasting relationship and fellowship with God. It is God's desire to have multitudes of people with Him in eternity, in the image of Jesus Christ (His Son).
It is revealed to us in Revelation 4:8-11 that God desires for you and I to be in heaven for all eternity. God the Father wants us to praise and worship Him and His Son Jesus Christ before the throne of God in heaven. Those who are in heaven will be praising and worshiping Jesus, saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev. 4:11).This verse is talking about praising and worshiping God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Are you ready to praise and worship Jesus forever and ever? Are you ready to walk with God here on earth before you go to be with Him in heaven?
EATING OF THE
God has provided for Christians to eat of the Tree of Life and have an abundant life (John 10:10). God has provided a way to be free of the works of the devil.
God's way, "by eating of the Tree of Life" is opposite of the world's ways. The world is still eating of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." But, Christians can eat of the Tree of Life and be free of the works of the devil.
How do we eat of the Tree of Life? First of all, we need to understand the difference between the Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Tree of Life produces within us the very life of God Himself. We become one with God in the Spirit. We become a new creature in Christ Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says, "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." If we are born again of the Word of God and the Spirit of God then we are a new creature in Christ (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6,7). Being a new creature in Christ, we are no longer in Adam, but we are now in Christ. Romans 8:9 says, "ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." When we were born again, we were translated into the kingdom of God's Son, "Jesus Christ" (Col. 1:13). Being in Christ we are no longer under the powers of Satan, but under the power of God working in us to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Our life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
We first started to eat of the Tree of Life when we believed the Gospel and received Jesus Christ into our life as our LORD and Savior. That was the beginning of a whole new way of living (totally different from the way we lived before we were born again).
Now, we must continue to eat of the Tree of Life to maintain our "life in the Spirit." Just as those who are not born again, they must continue to eat natural food to stay alive in the flesh, we must continue to eat spiritual food to maintain our life in the Spirit.
We still have our natural body, whereby we continue to live in this world. But, we also have a spiritual body, that we must continue to feed spiritual food (1 Cor. 15:44-49).
When Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4:2-4, His answer to the devils' temptation to turn a stone into bread was, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). The natural body lives by physical food. The spiritual body lives by the written Word of God.
Eating of the Tree of Life is "consuming the written Word of God." Jesus said in John 6:53,54, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you....Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." This eating of the body and blood of Jesus is done in the spiritual realm, not in the natural realm (John 6:63). It is done by "studying and meditating upon the written Word of God daily." We must renew our mind on the written Word of God, thereby we become transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, which is "that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
The world still lives by eating of the knowledge of good and evil. But, Christians should be living by eating of the Tree of Life. Eating of the Tree of Life produces within us the very life and nature of Jesus Christ. Eating of the Tree of Life is a whole new way of living.
Let me give you an example of the difference between eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or eating of the Tree of Life. Back in the early 1980's I was in the Television Repair business. I was on a service call in a large apartment building. It was on a Saturday afternoon, and as I was leaving the apartment building (holding a Television chassis in my arms, wearing canvas shoes), I struck my toe on a concrete block in the doorway. When this happened, I broke my toe on my left foot.
I drove home, took off my shoe, and saw the swelling and the black and blue coloring of my foot. I felt the pain. When this happened, my mind began to receive thoughts from the devil. I knew it was broken. I had experienced a broken bone in my body years ago. The pain of a broken bone is different from that of a sprain or torn ligament.
The thought came to my mind, "I had better go to the hospital and get it x-rayed, to be sure the bone was in the right place." The second thought that went through my head was, "When I do that the doctor will cut out the front of my shoe and put a bandage on my toe, and I will go around like that for about six weeks." Then the Spirit of God rose up within me, and from my spirit I heard, "You don't have to do that, by His stripes you are healed, He bore your sickness and infirmities, tell the devil to take a jump." Immediately I said, "Devil get out, I don't need this and you can't put this on me, by His stripes I am healed." "Jesus Himself took my infirmities and bare my sickness, so you can go take a jump. Thank You Jesus."
All this time I was alone in the house. I spoke words out-loud to the devil and I confessed before God my healing. Then I took a shower, dressed up, and went out for lunch. Then the thought came to my mind again, to go to the hospital and have an x-ray. I said within myself, "Why should I spend God's money for something I didn't need. God's Word is true and I am healed."
That day my foot was very sore but I kept going. The person I went to lunch with said to me, "Merle, you should have stayed home, and not be walking around on that foot." I just said, "Don't worry about it, it's Ok."
The next day the soreness left. It was Sunday and I went to Church. On Monday evening I showed my foot to those at my house who were there for a share group meeting. All we could see was one red spot and a blue stripe mark where the break had been. Praise the Lord for His Word! By Tuesday all was back to normal, no red spot, no blue stripe.
On Friday of that week, I showed my foot to a nurse friend of mine. I told her what had happened the Saturday before and how the foot came back to normal in three days. She said, "It had to be God, for in the natural it would take ten days to two weeks before the black and blue would be gone."
When we eat of the Tree of Life, we operate according to the written Word of God, not the natural way the world operates "by going to doctors and taking medication." The Word of God is our source of healing for our natural bodies "by the stripes that Jesus bore for us" on the Cross of Calvary. The world system is to go to a doctor, but for Christians, the first place we should turn to is "the written Word of God." We should receive that which God says belongs to us.
The Tree of Knowledge
of Good and Evil
Once we understand the Tree of Life, we can then understand the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Both trees were in the garden of Eden already before man was put into the garden (Gen. 2:8,9). Man has a free will to choose which trees he will eat the fruit thereof (Gen. 2:16). Man was told by the LORD God not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).
From the time that Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, mankind has continued to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The world today is still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. "Only Christians" can eat of the Tree of Life. Yet many Christians are still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Christians have a choice of which tree they will eat the fruit thereof. The choice is still theirs, and God will not stop them from eating of the Tree of Life, if they choose to repent and turn to the LORD our God and live "by the written Word of God," not by the natural circumstances in their lives. When we eat of the Tree of Life, the natural circumstances must leave as the Light of the written Word of God comes in. The world is still living in darkness, but Christians should be living in the Light of the Word of God (1 John 1:5-10).
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is under the control of Satan. The tree of knowledge of good and evil has two fruit, "the knowledge of good" and "the knowledge of evil." Both of these fruit produce "death." The death of these fruit is dependant upon "knowledge." Without natural knowledge, these trees cannot operate.
There are two major operations of these two trees in the world today. There is "the knowledge of good" that justifies everything it does by "knowledge obtained and gathered in the natural realm." There is also "the knowledge of evil," that condemns others by the "knowledge" of their past.
Let us take an example of the operation of "the knowledge of good." We know that the Old Testament Law stated, "...the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death" (Lev. 20:10). When "...the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery..." (John 8:3), they did not bring the man, but they wanted Jesus to condemn the woman that she should be put death.
These scribes and Pharisees had "knowledge of the Law," but were "accusing the woman only and not the man also." Their justice was corrupted by their knowledge of the Law. They did not look at the Tree of Life, they only looked at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, when they brought the woman to be stoned to death. The tree of knowledge of good and evil "demands death or punishment" for deeds and actions not acceptable to those operating under the knowledge of good and evil.
The Tree of Life also "demands death or punishment" for deeds and actions not acceptable to God according to the Law. But the Tree of Life also includes "the Blood of the Lamb, which was slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Therefore, God laid all our sins, iniquities, infirmities, sickness, and diseases upon Jesus, and Jesus took the punishment of death upon Himself, that we could be free. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The Blood of the Lamb was a "one time payment" for sins forever. Everyone who eats of the Tree of Life has the right to have their sin, iniquities, infirmities, sicknesses and diseases "removed by the Blood of the Lamb." Once they are removed, they are not to be remembered anymore. God said "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Jer. 31:34, Heb. 8:12).
Remembrance of another person's sins is "the knowledge of good and evil." God does not remember the sins of those who repent and confess their past sins. Christians are to walk in the likeness and image of God, not remembering the sins of others who have repented and confessed their sins to God (1 John 1:6-9).
Spirits, operating within churches that say they are Christians still condemn and punish those whom in their past committed some type of sin, which they remember. We see this constantly in Churches today, calling themselves Christians. They demand that those who "by their knowledge have sinned in the past" be punished for their past sins. Sometimes, for sins committed twenty or more years ago.
Many of them use the world's system of "Judges and Courts," operating by "the knowledge of good and evil" to commit them to life in prison for actions of their past. Others demand their removal from any type of work in the church system. Their sins are remembered "forever and ever" by those who say they are Christians, and even leaders in Christian Churches. This is not operating from "the Tree of Life," but rather from "the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
If there isn't forgiveness and forgetting of sins, then what Jesus did for us on the Cross is of no avail. If the Cross of Calvary is not included in eating of the Tree of Life, our eating of the Tree of Life will only produce death, not life. We can memorize the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation, and still produce death by the words we speak.
Judging others within the Churches "without seeing the Blood of Jesus," is not of God, it is a work of the Devil in the minds of those who are still eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
When the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman "taken in the act of adultery to Jesus," Jesus waited until He heard from God, and then said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). Within the Body of Christ, only those who are without sin can judge another Christian.
Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man" (John 8:15). Christians who judge after the flesh, condemn themselves. By the same judgement they judge others they will be also judged (Matt. 7:1,2).
Christians "are required" to judge others, but only based upon "the Spirit, the Word, and the Blood of Jesus" (1 John 5:8).Christians are told "not to judge after the flesh." Jesus said, "...if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me....I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John 8:16,18). Therefore, when Christians judge another, it must be in agreement with "the Spirit, the Word, and the Blood of Jesus" (1 John 5:8). All three of these must agree. Otherwise, they are judging after the flesh, and not after the Spirit.
Satan operates by "the knowledge" of good and evil. Most of Satan's operations require "knowledge," which is obtained by natural means. In the worlds system of "Law and Justice," there must be facts presented, which are obtained by "knowledge."
The only facts that are considered in Law and Justice are those whereby they have been obtained by "knowledge." There must be evidence of the fact, and proof of the evidence.
Knowledge is obtained by all sorts of systems, including investigations of the facts presented. Everything is subject to the "intellectual realm of man." Information obtained by "supernatural means," is not normally acceptable.
Satan is a god. Therefore, he does have the ability to give out information to individuals by "supernatural means," such as witchcraft, familiar spirits, sorcery, etc. Christians need the help of the Holy Spirit to identify which spiritual realm "supernatural knowledge" comes from. The Holy Spirit will reveal to Christians the source of "spiritual operations" which are not from God.
This revealing of the source of "spiritual operations" which are not of God usually comes by a "sick feeling" in your spirit, or a "knowing, beyond natural knowledge." This knowing is a "positive knowing," without doubt. A knowing that comes without previous knowledge, yet it always proves to be correct. It comes from your spirit, not from your mind, and you know instantly, without any previous thoughts in your mind.
Satan's operation of knowledge always involves your mind only, not your spirit. Satan does not have access to your spirit, he only has access to your mind.
God dwells in your spirit, and where God dwells, Satan cannot operate. Darkness cannot dwell where there is light. In God there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
In Satan's operation, there is no "true light." Satan comes as an angel of light. In 2 Corinthians 11:14 it tells us, "...no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." What seems to be "light" is not true light. "...God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).
Satan operates by "the knowledge of good and evil." In the knowledge of good and evil, there is "no love." God is love, and Satan has no love. Therefore, in the worlds system of Law and Justice, "judgment is always upheld." Each person is judged according to "knowledge" and then "judgment is pronounced."
In God, "love and grace" come before "judgment." God does not judge His people during their lifetime here on earth. God has already placed the judgment of His people upon Jesus. Jesus bore our judgment upon Himself when He went to the Cross for us.
The only judgment that remains for Christians is on the last day, the day when the books will be opened and everyone will be judged according to what is written in the books (Rev. 20:11-15). Until that time, God does not judge people. In John 5:22, Jesus said, "...the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." In John 8:15 Jesus said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." Those who walk after the flesh, judge after the flesh. But those who walk after the Spirit do not judge after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Jesus said, "...if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me" (John 8:16). Therefore, if Christians judge, they must judge after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We must judge "righteousness judgment, based upon all three (the witness of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the Blood of Jesus)" (1 John 5:8). Any judgment by Christians that is not based upon these three is not of God, but of the flesh.
In the worlds system there is always a constant battle going on in the spiritual realm, the knowledge of good against the knowledge of evil. Satan has no love, and where there is no love there is only hate and revenge, death, and accusing one while justifying the sins of another.
After Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they justified themselves and accused someone else for their sin. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:12,13).
In the worlds system, operating by the knowledge of good and evil, people justify themselves and accuse others. This is the way things are done in the kingdom of Satan. Satan's spirits battle against each other. There is no love or forgiveness in the Satanic spiritual realm. What the spirits of this world do, is seen in what the people of this world do. The natural man (born of the flesh), follows what happens in the demonic spiritual realm.
In Ephesians 2:2,3 it tells us, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:...Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
The whole world lies in darkness, and the only light that can overcome the darkness is "the light of God which comes through His Word." God's word is a light unto our path (Psa. 119.105). The world cannot walk in the light of the Word of God for His Word does not dwell in them. Jesus said to those Jews that came against Him, "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you." (John 8:37).
Christians must have the Word of God abiding in them, to walk in the light of the Word. Christians must walk in the light and not in the darkness if they want to benefit from what God has already done for them (1 John 1:5-7).
Christians need to know the difference between the Tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We must eat of the Tree of Life to maintain our life in Christ Jesus.
This is "Part 3" of the book, "Two Trees." Get the other Parts (and soon to come, the complete Book) by downloading "freely" from our Web sites at: