THEIR EYES WERE OPENED,
AND THEY KNEW...
How Many Trees In Your Midst...
Two trees are named in the midst of the garden, the tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One might assume that would be the end of the matter; for one tree plus one tree equals two trees, doesn’t it? Well, sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. Scientifically speaking, one plus one does not necessarily equal two. Do not ask me to explain why this is supposedly so; for that is far beyond the scope of my comprehension. My limited intelligence does not afford me the privilege of understanding such things on the natural scale. However, that which streams from the Spirit is much more easily grasped, that is, when the spirit of revelation opens those fathomless mysteries to our quickened minds. In an instant the unsearchable is found. If not revealed by the Spirit of revelation, they will remain unknown.
The sum of God’s mysteries will be scrutinized, analyzed, categorized, surmised, exercised, and plagiarized by just about everyone. Grandiose conclusions will devolve from fabricated delusions, while the mysteries remain mysteries. For, you see, 14...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14. And so it is in understanding the mystery of two trees being one tree. There is no logical way for the average human mind to grasp the thought that one plus one is one (1 + 1 = 1). Drawing from what has been taught, the formula does not compute. Yet, there are well-known verses we will notice which speak of this anomaly, and perhaps have already come to the attention of some, but they may have never been compared to the two trees, or should we say, the one tree in the midst of the Garden.
Two Shall Be One
For instance: 16What? know ye not that he (one) which is joined (plus) to an harlot (one) is (equals) one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh (1 man + 1 woman = 1 flesh ). 17But he (one) that is joined (plus) unto the Lord (one) is (equals) one spirit. (1 he + 1 Lord = 1 spirit) 1 Cor. 6:16-17.
One flesh speaks of the two having the same fleshly, carnal, lustful, self-gratifying, self-loving, adamic desires/spirit. One Spirit speaks of the same spiritual, sacrificing, God-loving, Christ desires/spirit.
The man and the woman were joined as one (carnal spirit) before the act was ever physically consummated: 27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. 5:27-28.
And, likewise, on the pure side: 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Eph. 5:31. 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. Mark 10:8
Can we see that leaving his father and mother has nothing to do with location, but has everything to do with heart and spirit? The desires of the heart, and being energized by an ignoble spirit, is what causes a man and harlot to be one flesh, and so it goes with leaving father and mother and cleaving to his wife. As long as the man’s heart and spirit are one with his father and mother, he cannot be joined in heart and spirit to his wife. As long as the three (his father, mother, and himself) are one, he cannot be one with his wife. We have all known men who are married; but they are still Mamma’s boy, or Daddy’s boy. They refuse to leave them in spirit, so they are not truly joined to their wives. However, once that umbilical cord is severed, and the threefold cord of spirt, soul (heart) and body is woven, the man and woman can be joined to become one flesh, in the spirit. Of course, we know their offspring is half the father and half the mother, so they become one flesh in that physical sense; but the union of their hearts and spirits come first.
Do we want more examples of one plus one being one? Sure we do, and Jesus is a prime example of this mathematical mystery.
Two StonesSome saw Jesus as the Chief Corner Stone, while others could see him only as a stumbling stone. To them He was not the Rock of ages, but a rock of offense. Men’s perception of Him varied; but He was constant, never changing. Neither outside conditions nor opinions affected Him at all. He was always the One stone, the Stone of Life for some, but the stone of death for others. For that matter, some see you and me as both: as lively white stones, as lights in a dark world while others see nothing but vile lepers, or worse. 13Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world...the offscouring of all things unto this day. 1 Cor. 4:13.
People who see us as such are either deceived, spiritually blind, or they are rebels. The latter are self-serving, insurrectionists who despise anything divine; for God’s presence is a real threat to them, and they will do anything in their power to maintain their dominion. They are the children of darkness. They are the people of the lie. Their father is the devil, and they will, therefore, kill the King’s Son to stay in power, 14....saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. Luke 19:14. Once they have succeeded, and there is no king in the land, they feel free to do whatever seems right in their own evil eyes.
We don’t have to look far to see this very thing today. And, frankly, it matters not if it is with those of the nominal church system or those who are supposed to have advanced beyond the stale doctrines of dead men — many professing Christians have no Living king in their land. This enables them to do what seems right in their own eyes. Most will quickly say that Jesus is their King, that He is their Lord; but their actions are contrary to their claims.
When people’s desires shift from heavenly things to earthly things, from Jesus to Adam, from Christ to self — there is paradigm shift, and that shift institutes an insurrection against the King.
Some know exactly what they are doing. They recognize the anointing and they hate it. Others are less aware, and very subtly, the coup is over in their land and without so much as a word of protest. For, you see, these types of insurrectionists are duped into believing lies, and they do not know they are casting out the very King who is their salvation. That is the subtlety of the serpent in the man’s religious mind. It deludes people into believing there is a better way of being like God; namely, by taking rather than receiving from the Tree of Life.
It is not possible to count all the methods men will employ in their quest for godhood. One thing we can count, however, is that they all stem from taking the fruit from the tree in the midst of the garden. By taking the fruit, it becomes the fruit of knowing themselves. Moreover, the bottom line is also the same — death.
Let me be candid and speak to you in a very personal way, brethren. It matters not if that fruit enables you to follow the law to the nth degree of every jot and title, such dedicated resilience is not fulfilling the law, and in dying you will die. It matters not if that fruit enables you to envision yourself as God, you are not God. You are a man and will die like one of the princes. Your self-exaltation, which spawns a dislike for correction, will not keep the true King out of your land. You will not be a king in the earth. You will not rule.
We know there is a tree from which we all eat, and whether we live or die depends on our motive for eating. When the fruit is taken to oneself it will produce many religious manifestations which imitate God, or at least what the mind imagines God to be. Among those fabrications are left-wing liberal spirits with no law, right-wing conservatives with the rigid law in its entirety, and in many cases lukewarm middle-wings with some law mixed with a little bit of liberty. Regardless of which it is — the fruit of our carnal tree will fail. There is nothing we can do in our own name that will merit life. There is no way to fulfill the law outside the Name above all names..
The indisputable fact is, the Name, or nature of Jesus Christ is the only fruit which will enable us to fulfil the Law and always do that which pleases our Father. It is in that Name by which we will be clothed to manifest the One law. No longer will we be double minded and see the law written upon two tablets; for in Christ Jesus, the two shall be one!
Spiritual nourishment comes from one of the two trees (the tree of Life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), or a combination of both. The two men who eat from them are the life-receiving (and giving) Spiritual man and the life-taking carnal man. And it is from the tree which is in the MIDST of the Garden that both men partake.
The word, midst, does not refer to something in the vicinity, or a proximity, such as, "There is a traitor in our midst." It is more definite, meaning, "bisection...the center" (Strong’s H8432 tavek). It is the core, middle, midpoint of a thing, an era, a garden, an individual, or anything else which is relative to time and space.
The bisected center of a place cannot get any more definite. It is in the very middle of the object whether tangible or ethereal. There cannot be two middles, only one, and with room only for one thing to occupy that central space or time. Whether it is a tree in the midst of the Garden, a wheel in the middle of a wheel, or the heart in the midst of a person — there is only one.
Two trees are named in the midst of the garden; yet this is determined by the differences in how the fruit is eaten. Let us note some similarities with the Law. There is one Law which was divided into ten laws, and the one Law was written on two tablets of stone. From there we note our own hearts. We know that we only have one heart wherein the Law is written — both the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law are two aspects of the one. The living Law was written upon our hearts, and when we receive the fruit from that Tree, Jesus is known and we live. But when we take that fruit, and from the same Tree, from the same midst, we know ourselves and we die.
Therefore, there is but one tree in the midst of the Garden, yet it is with two aspects, or two fruits. Depending on whether it is received or taken will determine if one lives or dies. One fruit is freely given, the other is subtly taken. From the hand of God, the Living bread is freely eaten. By the hand of man, it is subtly taken, and that word is deadly. The fruit received from God is unto Life, but when taken by man it is unto death — and they are both from the same tree. Moreover, when one consumes both, he is neither hot nor cold, neither spiritual nor completely carnal; instability ensues, and religion is born.
James addressed this very thing. He told us it ought not to be.
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8.
Double minded comes from the Greek word, dipsuchos, meaning two souls. We know, of course, that people do not have two souls. Each person is a single, solitary individual. They are indivisible, as the word individual speaks, and this is true, but one soul bears two fruits — one of Life the other of death. From one soul comes two — double minded.
The apostle also said:
8But the [one] tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. James 3:8-12.
This particular brother of Jesus drew a clear analogy to occurrences in nature: a fountain (spring, well), a fig tree, a vine. These are things to which anyone could relate, and they never vary in what they do. They are constant. They have been set in motion with physical laws governing them. They always function within their parameters, never drifting from their set course. However, it is not so cut and dried when it comes to the soul. A solitary soul can eat from the central tree in two ways. When the soul’s dinner is a two course meal, it becomes diversified, continually changing, and unstable in all its ways, i.e., double minded.
James went on to say:
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:13-18.
You see, there is still only one mind, one heart, one soul, one tree in the midst of the garden; yet there are two basic aspects — Jesus and Adam, Christ and self, Heaven and earth, Spirit and flesh, love for mankind and the love of self, etc.
On one hand the heart appears to be as a very sick tree and bearing nothing but worthless fruit:
9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:8-10.
While on the other hand, the same heart is made ready to radiate the bright glory of God. And when we let the peace of God rule in our hearts, our hearts can no longer be divided, but they are ONE, even as our corporate body is ONE: 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body... Col. 3:15.
We will note some others as well: 15Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts... 1 Peter 3:15. 5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2 Thes. 3:5. 13To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
1 Thes. 3:13. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6.
These verses refers to the conditioning of the heart, that single object which is in the midst of our garden, and it is that pure heart which effortlessly bears the fruit of the Spirit. That pure heart bears pure fruit as naturally as a healthy fig tree bears sweet figs. The Lord Jesus Christ is revered in our hearts, clean and holy, perfect and pure. He is sanctified as such, and that is the fruit we not only receive; but it is the fruit we freely give to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
We possess one heart. Only one Tree stands in the midst of the Garden, one Tree rising in manifestation from the core of our being. Yet, contrary to nature, there is something other than purity that can spring from that mysterious tree. Speaking of our hearts, Jesus said that we should take heed:
34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34. He also said, 21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 21Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 21All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:21-23).
One of the prophets said very much the same: 17And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD. Zech. 8:17.
It is obvious that two distinct fruits come from within. Therefore, it could certainly seem that there are two trees in our midst from which both, godly and ungodly, fruits grow? However, we know that we do not have two hearts, or two souls. There are two aspects but only one heart. There are two characteristics but only one soul.
Paul said not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing (or renovation) of our mind. He did not say to be transformed by exchanging it for another mind, but by renovating our present mind.
Wherever the heart resides, in the heavens or the world, that will be our fruit — the fruit of our heart’s desires — unto life or unto death. It is one or the other. It can’t be both. There is only one thing which can occupy a central point, and so it is with the center of our lives. If we receive the fruit of the Tree of Life from the hand of our risen Lord Jesus, we will find Him to be our center. We will know Him, and death will lose its power. It will not have dominion over us. If, however, we take from that same tree, desiring to be healthy, wealthy, and wise like God, the fruit it to become poisonous, and death will then have dominion over us. In dying we will surely die. The very Tree of Life we sought will only be a delusion in the midst of our mind.
If our mind is conformed to the world, we will be worldly. If it is renovated by the Spirit of God it will take on a transformation, and we will be godly. The two fruits are so different from one another that we would appear to have two minds. The fact still remains, however, we have only one mind, one tree, but two different aspects of it. And to be reminded for the umteenth time, those aspects are due to how we eat from that same source. It depends on whether we subtly take it from being inspired by the serpent of man’s twisted mind, or whether we freely receive it from the hand of our Lord. If we receive it, we are transformed and will live. If we take it, we are conformed to the world and will die.
Let me share from another whose words shed a bright ray of sunshine upon this Tree:
"In the middle of the garden there stood two trees with particular names and the names connected them to man in a particular way: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To the latter is attached the command not to eat of it upon penalty of death. Thus, in these two trees are contained the power of LIFE and DEATH. These are the ultimate realities typified by the two trees in the middle and these are the ideas and truths the Spirit of God here bids us consider. Life and death. In the middle.
"First of all, there is the tree of life. It is clear from the context that man was not forbidden to eat of it. It was there, revealed, offered, available, LIFE in the presence of God! For this reason the tree of life is mentioned very simply in Gen. 2:8-9. It was IN THE MIDDLE — that is all that is said about it! The life that comes forth from God is in the middle. This means that God, the source of life, is in the middle. In the middle of the world which is at the disposal of Adam and over which he has been given dominion is not Adam himself but the tree of God's eternal and incorruptible life. Adam's life was to come from the middle which was not Adam Himself but God. This means, simply, that with GOD AS HIS CENTER man would have life. Man was created with the capability of LIVING IN THE SPIRIT and WALKING AFTER THE SPIRIT. One of man's inherent potentials was to know God as the center and source of his life.
"But like the tree of life, the other tree, the tree of death also stands IN THE MIDDLE of the garden! In the middle. Death! Within. In man's very nature. Man was created with capability of LIVING IN THE FLESH and WALKING AFTER THE FLESH. One of man's inherent potentials was to know Self as the center and source of his life. But Self would not bring life, it would mean death. Man could make the world, the physical realm, his bodily senses and appetites his center. Death dwelt in that center. Life and death were in the middle. Two trees IN THE MIDST of the garden of man's experience and being. ‘For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For TO BE CARNALLY MINDED is death; but to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED is life and peace’ (Rom. 8:5-6).
"In the two trees of life and death God confronts man and points out his LIMIT. In these two trees is contained the LIMIT set by God upon man from the beginning. This LIMIT declared how low man could fall and how high man could rise. Man could fall as low as the tree of death, the carnal mind, the realm of the flesh could carry him - unto the whole dreadful realm of darkness and death in which is contained every sorrow, tragedy, pain, trouble, sickness, hatred, strife, heartache, ignorance, fear and torment known to man, or, he could rise as high as the eternal and incorruptible life of God could carry him - even unto ONENESS WITH GOD! What fathomless bounds are contained in this LIMIT! Man, by walking in the Spirit, could rise as high as God in the realm of His life, or, by walking in the flesh he could sink as low as the devil in the realm of darkness and death. What a LIMIT! And man was destined to fall as low as he could fall and rise as high as he could rise. The totality of man's experience is to be found within this limit established by God for man. All that both death and life are would ultimately be experienced, known and demonstrated by man. This is his limit. This is his territory. This is his destiny. Both realities are in the middle. Within man. One or the other is every man's CENTER, the sphere of his existence. But mark it well — BOTH cannot be the center of any man's life! He who eats of the tree of life will find that the death realm will come to have no more dominion over him. And he who eats of the tree of death will discover that he becomes alienated from the tree of life. Thus, both trees, both realities are IN THE CENTER of man's life, but both cannot BE THE CENTER of his life! ‘For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live’ (Rom. 8:13). ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh’ (Gal. 5:16). God would at once be the limit and the middle of our existence." (Echoes From Eden, Part II, In The Midst Of The Garden J. Preston Eby).
And he added to this thought a couple of years ago when he said:
"Let me tell you something about the tree in the middle of the garden. Some people think there were two trees. I believe there was one tree — that it was the same tree but there were two aspects of that tree.
"We are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of GOD that lives. So what is the Tree of Life? It is Christ Jesus. It is the Word in humans for Life. Now that is the Word. But you can also preach the law and all forms of legalism out of the Bible, as well as ceremonialism, man’s interpretations and concepts of what it is all about, and you may have preached nothing but the letter of the Word. Nevertheless, how many know that the Letter of the Word is the Word? Preachers get up every Sunday, and they say, ‘God tells me to preach the Word!’ And yet there is no Life. How many know that there is no Life in the Law? How many know that Moses preached the Law? How many know that everybody that received that Law died? Was it the Word of God? It was the Word of God; but it was the Letter of the Word; it was a Word without life. In other words: It was a Word stripped of Life, of Reality. It was not the Word that we are reading about here, it was the other side of the Word. It was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and that word is Law. How do you know good and evil? ‘By the Law is the knowledge of sin....’ ‘The Letter kills...’ but it is still a Word of the LORD; but the Creative Word is what we are talking about. The Creative Word is the interface of God and man. They both meet in the Word. It is by this Word which God projects Himself into another dimension, into a dimension wherein He can be seen, touched, and heard; such as, in the body of His people." — End quote.
He spoke also that the word is the interface of God and man, that they meet in the Word. This caused my spirit to sore onward, seeing that the Tree of Life is the interface of Eternity and time, of Spirit and space, or Spirit and matter. It is that which forms a common boundary of the two realms. It is similar to soap that enables oil and water to mix, or interface. The Tree/Word is the place where unrelated systems (God and man) meet, become one, and communicate with each other. The Word of Life, the Tree of Life, brings about the God-man interface. The Word is the means by which interaction, or communion, is achieved. It is the interface of Life, and it is done by and at the interface of the Word. But not so with the fruit from the other tree. There is surely an interface, yet the interface is death. Only in Christ Jesus is Life, and that Life is the Light of men.
It is so tremendously important to hear and receive the living Word from the tree of life and live, rather than to hear and take the letter of the word from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and die. Knowing self is certain death, while knowing Jesus Christ is always life. Therefore, my friends, please, let us not take on a mistaken identity, nor ascribe one to Him. Do not let us be subtle and take that which would cause us to be deluded and boldly proclaim our identity as being God. Let us never be party to insurrectionists. We are most certainly a part of God; but we are not God. And our spirits bear witness that we are a part of our Father; but we are not our Father.
Delusions will make that which is so wrong seem so right, and that which is so right seem so wrong. And many have been carried away by the flood of excitement from incredulous men and women. Their slight of hand have made things appear right when they are not. They show unconditional love to everyone except those who expose them. Very quickly their evil spirit rises in a rage. Only if you happen to be present will you see such manifestations, Without outward demonstrations, the trained eye and discerner of spirits alone can see beyond the facade. The shell game does not work on those whose hearts are set on Jesus and have come through the valley of the shadow.
When we partake of the fruit from the single tree in the midst of the garden, let us be sure that it is received from the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let it be eaten worthily. Let us examine ourselves and truly discern the Lord’s body. Let us know who it truly is and not who the carnal tree tells us it is. Let us never again look temptingly upon that tree and take its alluring fruit; for it will open our eyes to know ourselves, and we may say we have never sinned, that we were worn perfect and sinless. The fruit from the other Tree, however, the Tree of Life, will cause us to say we 23...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23. It will also give us the assurance that we are justified by His Grace through Christ Jesus. Rom. 3:24.
Let us always receive with thanksgiving the Life, Light, and Liberty of Jesus Christ as He freely gives to us. There is no reason to ever take from that tree. There is no need to usurp His authority. There is no need to take the Kingdom by force; for it is His good pleasure to give unto us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). We can most certainly be forceful and press into His Spirit; for the lukewarm will never receive from His hand; but to take from the tree by listening to the lying serpent will not do. It will afford nothing but a momentary glitter, and then a great descending into the darkness of sorrow.
Surely, we have come to know, at least in part, the depth to which man can descend by taking from that tree and knowing himself. And likewise, we have known, and shall increasingly know the unparalleled height to which he can ascend when he receives the blessed, broken, resurrected bread of Jesus. Therefore, let us forever feast upon that fruit of Life, and never again subtly take the enticing fruit of self from the midst of our garden! We have known enough of ourselves. It is time to know Him in His fullness.
Take heed that 4...The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For...in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew... themselves....Gen. 3:4-7.
And rejoice that in due season 30...It came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him... Luke 24:30-31. Ah, what a delightful fruit!
Elwin R. Roach