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Of Trees and Men: What Shepherds Need to Know An Interactive Self Study Part 2 Part 2 Presented by Barbara L. Klika, MSW Personal Life Coach Undershepherd.

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Presentation on theme: "Of Trees and Men: What Shepherds Need to Know An Interactive Self Study Part 2 Part 2 Presented by Barbara L. Klika, MSW Personal Life Coach Undershepherd."— Presentation transcript:

1 Of Trees and Men: What Shepherds Need to Know An Interactive Self Study Part 2 Part 2 Presented by Barbara L. Klika, MSW Personal Life Coach Undershepherd Set Apart Ministries December 2009

2 Shepherds Need to Know About Trees? Scripture uses many images to teach us. Trees are often mentioned but not often pointed out as a primary concern. To many of us, they just seem like part of the scenery! Scripture uses many images to teach us. Trees are often mentioned but not often pointed out as a primary concern. To many of us, they just seem like part of the scenery! As we study thematically, we begin to see the As we study thematically, we begin to see the importance of themes such as that represented by trees. importance of themes such as that represented by trees.

3 A Beginning Prayer Once again, Abba, we come before you in a desire to know more about Your Word and all that you have for us in it. As one who leads your people, whether it is in a family or a community, I want to understand all that You have provided for me. Will you please guide me as I study this matter of the message of trees? I ask in the Name of our Messiah, Yeshua. Omayne!

4 What “trees” come to mind? Consider what you already know about trees from the Bible. You may want to write down a list of them with a brief note of what you know BEFORE you start this study. When you have finished the study, see what you can add! Consider what you already know about trees from the Bible. You may want to write down a list of them with a brief note of what you know BEFORE you start this study. When you have finished the study, see what you can add! Then, perhaps you could go to an online Bible and search out all references to trees. This can also be done with the Englishman’s Concordances for both Old and New Testaments. Then, perhaps you could go to an online Bible and search out all references to trees. This can also be done with the Englishman’s Concordances for both Old and New Testaments.

5 Rule of First Mention One guideline for the interpretation of Scripture is to consider the first use of a term or concept. One guideline for the interpretation of Scripture is to consider the first use of a term or concept. As we know from other studies, our God has defined His terms as He has presented all we need to know “from the beginning.” As we know from other studies, our God has defined His terms as He has presented all we need to know “from the beginning.” Trees are first mentioned on Day 3 when they were brought into existence. Trees are first mentioned on Day 3 when they were brought into existence.

6 Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. Beresheit/Genesis 1:11-12 NASB Beresheit/Genesis 1:11-12 NASB

7 The next mention of trees… The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Beresheit/Genesis 2: 8-9 NASB

8 Narrowing our Focus In the beginning, there were two trees of special interest! In the beginning, there were two trees of special interest! These two trees affected all of creation. These two trees affected all of creation. This brings up two big questions: This brings up two big questions: How did they arrive at such importance? How did they arrive at such importance? Do they have any importance for us today? Do they have any importance for us today? Let’s find out!

9 Check all the verses that refer to both the “Tree of Life” and the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (There are only a few of them!) You can do this with an online Bible or an Englishman’s Concordance. You can do this with an online Bible or an Englishman’s Concordance. Many people have several Bibles. Get out several versions and check the verses side by side. Many people have several Bibles. Get out several versions and check the verses side by side.

10 Several Levels of Understanding Most commentators have noted that these two trees were there to provide a test or an opportunity to walk in obedience or disobedience. Most commentators have noted that these two trees were there to provide a test or an opportunity to walk in obedience or disobedience. One confirmation of this is through recognition of the phrase “in the midst” which refers to the location of the tree of life. One confirmation of this is through recognition of the phrase “in the midst” which refers to the location of the tree of life. This phrase is the Hebrew word “betok” which is Strong’s #8432, from the root word “tavek” which literally means “to center” and “midst” but can also be translated as “middle”, “separation” and “deceive.” This phrase is the Hebrew word “betok” which is Strong’s #8432, from the root word “tavek” which literally means “to center” and “midst” but can also be translated as “middle”, “separation” and “deceive.”

11 “In the Midst” This is the same word translated as “separate” or “divide” on Day 2 of creation when the upper and lower waters were divided with an expanse set “in the midst.” This day has been recognized as a day of division and unrest which was not declared “good.” (Beresheit/Genesis 1:6-8) This is the same word translated as “separate” or “divide” on Day 2 of creation when the upper and lower waters were divided with an expanse set “in the midst.” This day has been recognized as a day of division and unrest which was not declared “good.” (Beresheit/Genesis 1:6-8) This concept of separation is a recurring theme throughout Scripture, dividing what is of God and what is not or providing the opportunity for two witnesses in a matter. One can be separated out for what is good or separated out for what is bad. This concept of separation is a recurring theme throughout Scripture, dividing what is of God and what is not or providing the opportunity for two witnesses in a matter. One can be separated out for what is good or separated out for what is bad. In this context, the choices of obedience or disobedience to His instructions about the trees are the test -- “dividing” or “separating.” In this context, the choices of obedience or disobedience to His instructions about the trees are the test -- “dividing” or “separating.”

12 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 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. Genesis 2: 8-9 NKJV Second Mention of Trees is also the First Mention of these Two Trees Together

13 Did you notice something about these trees? They had TWO things in common: 1. Pleasant to the sight 2. Good for food The Tree of Life is said to be in the midst of the Garden. Was the “other” tree there, too? (Opportunity for separation?) What made them different from each other, then?

14 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 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.” 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.” Genesis 2: NKJV Genesis 2: NKJV

15 The only apparent difference is that YHWH said not to eat from that one. Although He did not give a reason, Although He did not give a reason, He did clearly state that death He did clearly state that death would result from doing so. would result from doing so. He is our Good Shepherd He is our Good Shepherd and we are to trust His leading. and we are to trust His leading. Therefore, we know that this tree could also be considered a tree of death, in counterpoint to the Tree of Life. Therefore, we know that this tree could also be considered a tree of death, in counterpoint to the Tree of Life.

16 At this point, there was no similar caution about the tree of life from which they were free to eat. But we all know that things changed! But we all know that things changed! The next time we hear of the two trees, it is in the context of the serpent’s subtle questioning. The next time we hear of the two trees, it is in the context of the serpent’s subtle questioning. (Notice the different words used) (Notice the different words used)

17 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.

18 But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

19 And 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, And 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. she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

20 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3: 1-7 KJV Genesis 3: 1-7 KJV

21 Now there are 3 criteria? 1. Pleasant to the sight 2. Good for food AND 3. Desirable to make one wise Where did the third one come from?

22 They quickly learned that this was NOT desirable after all as YHWH confronted them and sent them out of the Garden. They quickly learned that this was NOT desirable after all as YHWH confronted them and sent them out of the Garden. Didn’t He want them to be wise? Didn’t He want them to be wise?

23 Next Specific Mention of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Beresheit/ Genesis 3:17 KJV in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Beresheit/ Genesis 3:17 KJV o Didn’t He want Adam to listen to his wife?

24 Cursed to eat of the ground? A usual understanding of this verse is that we are cursed to eat of the ground all the days of our lives A usual understanding of this verse is that we are cursed to eat of the ground all the days of our livesBUT We did and would eat of the ground whether cursed or not since that is where food comes from! We did and would eat of the ground whether cursed or not since that is where food comes from! I suggest that there is a poetic parallelism here: I suggest that there is a poetic parallelism here:

25 Not the ground but the tree! The phrase The phrase “ cursed is the ground for thy sake” “ cursed is the ground for thy sake” is just an interjection here between the two references to the tree. is just an interjection here between the two references to the tree. The ground is cursed, as was satan. The ground is cursed, as was satan. So it is the tree that would be eaten of in sorrow all the days of life, having now eaten of the seed of it. So it is the tree that would be eaten of in sorrow all the days of life, having now eaten of the seed of it.

26 The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is now a part of all of our days of life. Yes, this ancient event does apply to us today. Yes, this ancient event does apply to us today. If so, we should know more about it! If so, we should know more about it! What else can we learn about this tree? What else can we learn about this tree?

27 Next Specific Mention of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever;

28 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 KJV So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 KJV

29 The tree of the knowledge of good and evil will now be a part of all of our lives. It is equated with “being wise” and with death. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil will now be a part of all of our lives. It is equated with “being wise” and with death. The tree of life is guarded and kept. The tree of life is guarded and kept. Did you find any further specific references to either of these trees?

30 The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not identified specifically by this name again. The Tree of Life is mentioned many times by name in many contexts from Genesis right through to Revelation. The Tree of Life is mentioned many times by name in many contexts from Genesis right through to Revelation. Here are a few of them.

31 References to “Tree of Life” She [wisdom] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. Proverbs 3:18 KJV She [wisdom] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. Proverbs 3:18 KJV The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30 KJV The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30 KJV A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 KJV A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 KJV (Note: ESV renders it a “gentle” tongue and NASB has “soothing.” (Note: ESV renders it a “gentle” tongue and NASB has “soothing.”

32 The Trees leave us with more questions! If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to be a part of our daily lives, why isn’t it mentioned again? If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to be a part of our daily lives, why isn’t it mentioned again? If the way to the Tree of Life is guarded, why is it a consistent concept throughout Scripture? If the way to the Tree of Life is guarded, why is it a consistent concept throughout Scripture? There must be something else here. There must be something else here.

33 Observations from “Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament” The trees were not magical, but were the means of confronting man with God’s will, giving “man a decisive Yes or No to say with his whole being.” The trees were not magical, but were the means of confronting man with God’s will, giving “man a decisive Yes or No to say with his whole being.” It is morally significant that God fenced these two trees not with a wall but with his word! It is morally significant that God fenced these two trees not with a wall but with his word! It is no accident that human sin which began at the foot of a tree, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” found its resolution on another tree, the cross of Calvary…. It is no accident that human sin which began at the foot of a tree, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” found its resolution on another tree, the cross of Calvary….

34 …Satan’s victory over the woman (and the man!) beneath the branches of that primal tree led to his own defeat beneath the crossed beams of another tree… …Satan’s victory over the woman (and the man!) beneath the branches of that primal tree led to his own defeat beneath the crossed beams of another tree… TWOT Page 689 TWOT Page 689 Thematically, then, the two trees can be located in what we call the New Testament in this way though only the Tree of Life is specifically mentioned. Thematically, then, the two trees can be located in what we call the New Testament in this way though only the Tree of Life is specifically mentioned.

35 So now, what about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? You will remember that it is not mentioned again by name throughout Scripture! You will remember that it is not mentioned again by name throughout Scripture! We have already seen that it is foretold to be a factor in all of our days. We have already seen that it is foretold to be a factor in all of our days. How do we learn anything more about it? How do we learn anything more about it? Thematic Study! Remember the “twos!” Thematic Study! Remember the “twos!”

36 Tree of Death At the beginning, we saw that the Tree of Life had a counterpart; the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At the beginning, we saw that the Tree of Life had a counterpart; the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We saw that to eat from it was equated with “being wise” and with death. We saw that to eat from it was equated with “being wise” and with death.

37 If Wise Counsel comes through the Tree of Life… Then clearly, unwise counsel must come through the “tree of death.” Then clearly, unwise counsel must come through the “tree of death.” What was “unwise” about what came to mankind through this tree of the knowledge of good and evil? What was “unwise” about what came to mankind through this tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Let’s review what happened there: Let’s review what happened there:

38 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 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.” 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.” Beresheit/Genesis 2: NKJV Beresheit/Genesis 2: NKJV Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

39 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But the fruit of the tree which is in But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die; And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

40 And 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, And 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. she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

41 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Beresheit/Genesis 3: 1-7 KJV Beresheit/Genesis 3: 1-7 KJV And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Beresheit/Genesis 3:17 KJV in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Beresheit/Genesis 3:17 KJV

42 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 KJV So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 KJV

43 Consequences Knew they were naked and were ashamed Knew they were naked and were ashamed Felt compelled to cover themselves Felt compelled to cover themselves Cursing of satan and the ground Cursing of satan and the ground Put out of the Garden Put out of the Garden Toil, Pain and sorrow Toil, Pain and sorrow Will eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil all the days of life. Will eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil all the days of life. Way to Tree of Life now guarded Way to Tree of Life now guarded

44 They left the garden to live elsewhere. They didn’t die that day so how do we know what was really wrong about all of this? They didn’t die that day so how do we know what was really wrong about all of this? Was satan telling the truth then that they wouldn’t die while God wasn’t truthful? Was satan telling the truth then that they wouldn’t die while God wasn’t truthful? Why was it wrong for Adam to listen to his wife? Why was it wrong for Adam to listen to his wife? Why was it wrong for them to desire knowledge and wisdom? Why was it wrong for them to desire knowledge and wisdom?

45 Two Core Questions!! If they and their generations, meaning us, had no access to the Tree of Life why does it still appear –both by name and inference-- throughout Scripture? If they and their generations, meaning us, had no access to the Tree of Life why does it still appear –both by name and inference-- throughout Scripture? If the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Death) was to be a part of mankind’s life why isn’t it visible throughout Scripture? If the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Death) was to be a part of mankind’s life why isn’t it visible throughout Scripture?

46 Physical and Spiritual Implications Although it is true that Adam and Eve did not physically die in that 24 hour period, they did lose the ability to walk with and see YHWH our God. He did allow them to continue to hear Him however, as we can yet today, Praise Messiah! Although it is true that Adam and Eve did not physically die in that 24 hour period, they did lose the ability to walk with and see YHWH our God. He did allow them to continue to hear Him however, as we can yet today, Praise Messiah! Physical realities are His way of showing us pictures of spiritual truths. Physical realities are His way of showing us pictures of spiritual truths. Physical death is the natural outcome for one who has lost access to the fruit of the Tree of Life. Physical death is the natural outcome for one who has lost access to the fruit of the Tree of Life.

47 People and Shepherds Whether we find it “complimentary” or not, the truth is that there are always going to be people who have need of leaders to help them find the good fruit and people who are called to do so. Scripture warns of false shepherds among the good ones, just as we are told there are different kinds of “sheep.” Whether we find it “complimentary” or not, the truth is that there are always going to be people who have need of leaders to help them find the good fruit and people who are called to do so. Scripture warns of false shepherds among the good ones, just as we are told there are different kinds of “sheep.” We are not automatically We are not automatically “assigned” to a group but “assigned” to a group but need to exercise care and need to exercise care and discernment as to what discernment as to what group or leader we group or leader we choose; another physical choose; another physical picture of spiritual truth as picture of spiritual truth as Shepherds are another kind Shepherds are another kind of covering for their people. of covering for their people.

48 The Tree of Life continues to be visible throughout Scripture because Messiah is always available to us through His Spirit. Mercifully, Adam and Eve were sent from the Garden so that they did not eat from that Tree of Life in their fallen physical state. If they had, they would have had eternal physical life in that fallen state. As it stands now, when we receive the Messiah and His work on our behalf, we are receiving the fruit of the Tree of Life which confirms our eternal life though we will still experience physical death.

49 Since Messiah is always available to those who believe, the spiritual representation of the Tree of Life is guarded in the sense of being kept FOR those who seek Him. Since Messiah is always available to those who believe, the spiritual representation of the Tree of Life is guarded in the sense of being kept FOR those who seek Him. When we love and obey Him, we have access to the spiritual reality of the Tree of Life; and eternal life with Him. When we love and obey Him, we have access to the spiritual reality of the Tree of Life; and eternal life with Him. When He returns, those who have walked with Him will again have access to the Tree in the New Jerusalem. When He returns, those who have walked with Him will again have access to the Tree in the New Jerusalem.

50 I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may commandments, that they may have the right to, and may enter in through the gates into the city. have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. ( Revelation 22: KJV) ( Revelation 22: KJV)

51 Now, what of the Tree of Death? Yes, it wasn’t CALLED “tree of death” but by thematic comparison, it had to do with death and stood in opposition to the Tree of Life. Yes, it wasn’t CALLED “tree of death” but by thematic comparison, it had to do with death and stood in opposition to the Tree of Life. So back to one of our original questions: Why would Knowledge of Good and Evil be equated with “being wise” and with death? Aren’t we supposed to be aware of these things throughout our lives? So back to one of our original questions: Why would Knowledge of Good and Evil be equated with “being wise” and with death? Aren’t we supposed to be aware of these things throughout our lives? Consider the process by which that 3 rd criteria was added to God’s counsel. Consider the process by which that 3 rd criteria was added to God’s counsel.

52 The Adversary Caused Doubt By inferring that God was somehow “holding out” or “keeping back” something of value, satan deceived Eve into questioning His intentions and His character. By inferring that God was somehow “holding out” or “keeping back” something of value, satan deceived Eve into questioning His intentions and His character. He implied that Eve might have reason to fear she was missing something important. He implied that Eve might have reason to fear she was missing something important. From there, it is only a few short steps to falling back on our own reasoning ability. From there, it is only a few short steps to falling back on our own reasoning ability.

53 Steps of Entrapment FEAR of some kind of harm to self or loved ones FEAR of some kind of harm to self or loved ones which easily leads to which easily leads to UNBELIEF Messiah can’t or won’t help me UNBELIEF Messiah can’t or won’t help me which easily leads to which easily leads to SELF-SUFFICIENCY/PRIDE SELF-SUFFICIENCY/PRIDE I’ll have to figure it out myself… I’ll have to figure it out myself… (which can be out of arrogance or desperation) (which can be out of arrogance or desperation) and finally, if unchecked along the way, leads to and finally, if unchecked along the way, leads to REBELLION …so I will do it MY way. REBELLION …so I will do it MY way.

54 What Changed? When Eve entertained fear she opened the door to the idea that our Father might not have good intentions which she then saw as reason to employ her human reasoning ability, add her own 3 rd criteria, and come to her own conclusion. When Eve entertained fear she opened the door to the idea that our Father might not have good intentions which she then saw as reason to employ her human reasoning ability, add her own 3 rd criteria, and come to her own conclusion. This new conclusion was no longer based on her confidence in God but on the experience of her own senses of sight and reasoning. This new conclusion was no longer based on her confidence in God but on the experience of her own senses of sight and reasoning.

55 We might say Eve moved from being “God centered” and led by His Spirit to being “human centered” and led by her own experience. We might say Eve moved from being “God centered” and led by His Spirit to being “human centered” and led by her own experience. She rejected God’s command based on her observations. Adam did the same as he followed suit, but Scripture says he did so knowingly, while Eve was “taken in” with the deception. She rejected God’s command based on her observations. Adam did the same as he followed suit, but Scripture says he did so knowingly, while Eve was “taken in” with the deception.

56 By the way, you did notice that satan told partial truth? They didn’t die physically immediately! (We are told Adam lived about 900 years, which is still within God’s determination that a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.) By the way, you did notice that satan told partial truth? They didn’t die physically immediately! (We are told Adam lived about 900 years, which is still within God’s determination that a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.) 2 Peter 3:8 2 Peter 3:8 It is more that YHWH generally allows people to experience consequences of their choices than that He puts them to immediate physical death. It is more that YHWH generally allows people to experience consequences of their choices than that He puts them to immediate physical death.

57 Really Turning Life Upside Down Their spiritual life and their confident dependence on God was undermined—literally overthrown or flipped over--in favor of their own ability to use information and experience to discern what was good. We might say “upside down” when matters of flesh take priority over spirit. Their spiritual life and their confident dependence on God was undermined—literally overthrown or flipped over--in favor of their own ability to use information and experience to discern what was good. We might say “upside down” when matters of flesh take priority over spirit. The Disciples were accused of being men who “turned the world upside down,” when in fact, through Messiah, they were in the business of turning it right side up once again! Acts 17: 6 The Disciples were accused of being men who “turned the world upside down,” when in fact, through Messiah, they were in the business of turning it right side up once again! Acts 17: 6

58 Dependence on our own senses and ability to reason can also be called self-sufficiency or pride, the third step in the entrapment process. Dependence on our own senses and ability to reason can also be called self-sufficiency or pride, the third step in the entrapment process. Since we are not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent how could our human understanding even begin to compare to His? Clearly, this would be Unwise counsel! Since we are not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent how could our human understanding even begin to compare to His? Clearly, this would be Unwise counsel!

59 Yet this entrapment and appeal to depend on our own experience or reasoning works as well today as it did then. Yet this entrapment and appeal to depend on our own experience or reasoning works as well today as it did then. We might call it chasing after wisdom and taking pride in our human abilities, preferring this over walking after our Messiah in His way. We might call it chasing after wisdom and taking pride in our human abilities, preferring this over walking after our Messiah in His way.

60 Pride: arrogance or desperation? Because pride is a concept so often associated with being arrogant, may I point out that in this instance, it can be as much from personal desperation and unbelief that anyone else cares, could or would help, that this type of pride, or self-sufficiency can be born. Because pride is a concept so often associated with being arrogant, may I point out that in this instance, it can be as much from personal desperation and unbelief that anyone else cares, could or would help, that this type of pride, or self-sufficiency can be born. The issue is the dependence on self to reason or solve the current question, rather than looking to YHWH’s Spirit and His Word in trust for our answers. The issue is the dependence on self to reason or solve the current question, rather than looking to YHWH’s Spirit and His Word in trust for our answers.

61 In our human understanding then we can easily rationalize that we are not in rebellion but just doing what “must” be done to avoid some kind of harm. In our human understanding then we can easily rationalize that we are not in rebellion but just doing what “must” be done to avoid some kind of harm. Certainly, we are to use the talents and understandings given to us but we are not to assume that we “know better” than our almighty Creator! Certainly, we are to use the talents and understandings given to us but we are not to assume that we “know better” than our almighty Creator!

62 Elevation of Self? Satan succeeded in reproducing his own sin of pride through his desire to be “like God” in mankind, man and woman. You can see a word picture of this pride in Isaiah 14 where he determines that he will be lifted up and worshipped as God. Satan succeeded in reproducing his own sin of pride through his desire to be “like God” in mankind, man and woman. You can see a word picture of this pride in Isaiah 14 where he determines that he will be lifted up and worshipped as God. Just as he lost his position in the Garden as the covering cherub through pride (Ezekiel 28) so now did mankind lose their position in the Garden. Just as he lost his position in the Garden as the covering cherub through pride (Ezekiel 28) so now did mankind lose their position in the Garden.

63 It is not that man shouldn’t listen to his wife! Adam should have been his wife’s “covering” but failed to act. Adam should have been his wife’s “covering” but failed to act. How blessed we are that How blessed we are that the second “Adam” did the second “Adam” did not fail to cover His Bride! not fail to cover His Bride! We have only to depend on Him! We have only to depend on Him! Please see article series on Shepherds Need to Know the Biblical Meaning of Restraint/Nakedness at for more information on this aspect of “covering.”

64 Is there a Scriptural picture of what it looks like to depend on human abilities? YES! There are many, but here is one that is a central “organization” of most of these behaviors.

65 Proverbs 6: There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

66 Again, we turn to the words of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived: Again, we turn to the words of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived: Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. Proverbs 21:4 NASB These behaviors are of those who walk in sin. Their way is lit by the ‘lamp’ of a way other than God’s. John tells us that sin is lawlessness, or rejecting the commandments of God. (1 John 3:4) These behaviors are of those who walk in sin. Their way is lit by the ‘lamp’ of a way other than God’s. John tells us that sin is lawlessness, or rejecting the commandments of God. (1 John 3:4) Rejecting YHWH’s ways and substituting human reason and understanding is easily seen as part of this walk in sin! Rejecting YHWH’s ways and substituting human reason and understanding is easily seen as part of this walk in sin!

67 Choose Life… Mankind lost direct access to the Tree of Life in Eden due to sin and the elevation of self over and against dependence on God, yielding to unwise counsel. Mankind lost direct access to the Tree of Life in Eden due to sin and the elevation of self over and against dependence on God, yielding to unwise counsel. Yet, when we yield to Messiah, we are partaking of the fruit of Him as our Tree of Life in a spiritual re- birth and life. Yet, when we yield to Messiah, we are partaking of the fruit of Him as our Tree of Life in a spiritual re- birth and life. Those who believe and Those who believe and walk after Him will have walk after Him will have the right to the physical the right to the physical Tree of Life again in the New City. Tree of Life again in the New City.

68 ….or death Those who reject YHWH’s Spirit and His commands are yielding to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, depending on their own senses and experience above looking to Him. They may look with haughty eyes on what is of YHWH, in favor of their own ideas. Unwise counsel! Those who reject YHWH’s Spirit and His commands are yielding to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, depending on their own senses and experience above looking to Him. They may look with haughty eyes on what is of YHWH, in favor of their own ideas. Unwise counsel! It IS there all through Scripture though not by that name! Every reference to these behaviors is thematically linked to this tree of death from the Garden. Like the adversary himself, it is subtle. It IS there all through Scripture though not by that name! Every reference to these behaviors is thematically linked to this tree of death from the Garden. Like the adversary himself, it is subtle.

69 The Tree of Life is now guarded and kept for those who yield to Messiah and thus the way of Life is described throughout Scripture. He continues to call us! The Tree of Life is now guarded and kept for those who yield to Messiah and thus the way of Life is described throughout Scripture. He continues to call us! The influence of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil depends on subtlety and innuendo. Its fruit led to the rejection of the Tree of Life. The influence of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil depends on subtlety and innuendo. Its fruit led to the rejection of the Tree of Life.

70 It no longer needs to be identified by name because it became a part of fallen man’s nature. It no longer needs to be identified by name because it became a part of fallen man’s nature. It is what “takes over” in the absence of the Tree of Life! It is what “takes over” in the absence of the Tree of Life!

71 The overriding influence of rejecting His commands in favor of personal experience and senses remains a primary battle for all of mankind today, all the days of our lives, as foretold in the Garden. The overriding influence of rejecting His commands in favor of personal experience and senses remains a primary battle for all of mankind today, all the days of our lives, as foretold in the Garden. Because the focus is on human behavior, THAT tree is no longer mentioned by name but all it involves leads to dependence on experience, personal “wisdom” or the world and eventually to death—both physical and spiritual. Because the focus is on human behavior, THAT tree is no longer mentioned by name but all it involves leads to dependence on experience, personal “wisdom” or the world and eventually to death—both physical and spiritual.

72 Didn’t God want us to be wise? It was not that God didn’t want us to have knowledge of good and evil, but rather that what knowledge we have about it should come through His leading and direction; It was not that God didn’t want us to have knowledge of good and evil, but rather that what knowledge we have about it should come through His leading and direction; not by our self-sufficiency; not by our self-sufficiency; reaching out for it in our reaching out for it in our timing and based on our timing and based on our desire or fear. desire or fear.

73 Concept of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is present throughout Scripture. It is evident by the human behavior that is described in Proverbs 6:16-19 It is evident by the human behavior that is described in Proverbs 6:16-19 The effect of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the basis for human “superiority” is the rejection or absence of the Tree of Life. The effect of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the basis for human “superiority” is the rejection or absence of the Tree of Life. Now, Life and Death will continually Now, Life and Death will continually be at war within Believers. be at war within Believers.

74 The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been seeded into our very nature. The Tree of the knowledge of good and evil has been seeded into our very nature. When we receive Messiah/Tree of Life, we have the ability to resist the fruit of that OTHER tree, though we should not be surprised at the daily challenges. When we receive Messiah/Tree of Life, we have the ability to resist the fruit of that OTHER tree, though we should not be surprised at the daily challenges. Without His Life in us, we are so vulnerable in our arrogance or desperation to the manipulation of the evil one! Without His Life in us, we are so vulnerable in our arrogance or desperation to the manipulation of the evil one!

75 The Devil made me do it??? Too often, people want Too often, people want to attribute poor choices to attribute poor choices to demonic influence when to demonic influence when our unsubmitted flesh alone our unsubmitted flesh alone is capable of very poor is capable of very poor choices; even without unholy pressure. choices; even without unholy pressure. Conversely, it is also true that when we are walking in unsubmitted flesh or immaturity, the evil one has many open doors to maneuver in and through us! Sometimes it takes only a “nudge” to fall into the 4 stages of entrapment. Conversely, it is also true that when we are walking in unsubmitted flesh or immaturity, the evil one has many open doors to maneuver in and through us! Sometimes it takes only a “nudge” to fall into the 4 stages of entrapment. In Messiah, our Tree of Life, we can be overcomers!

76 Shepherds! Which Tree will you yield to in your own life? Which Tree will you yield to in your own life? What kind of counsel can your people expect from you? What kind of counsel can your people expect from you? Will you stand firm as a tree and speak His Truth into the lives of your people? Will you stand firm as a tree and speak His Truth into the lives of your people?

77 People! What “tree” are you eating from? What “tree” are you eating from? Will you be wise in your Will you be wise in your own eyes or draw on our own eyes or draw on our Elohim’s wisdom? Elohim’s wisdom? Will you use His discernment about what teachings or leaders you look to for covering, or fall back on your own reasoning? Will you use His discernment about what teachings or leaders you look to for covering, or fall back on your own reasoning?

78 Choose Life! Choose Life! 1How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. 2How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 2How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. 4You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes! They walk in His ways. 4You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!

79 6Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! 6Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! Psalm 119 NASB Psalm 119 NASB

80 May you be blessed and strengthened as you learn more about Trees and Men! For more information, please contact us at: P. O. Box 5584 De Pere WI (920)

81 Resources The Complete Word Study Old Testament The Complete Word Study Old Testament Zodhiates, AMG Publishers Zodhiates, AMG Publishers The Complete Word Study New Testament The Complete Word Study New Testament Zodhiates, AMG Publishers Zodhiates, AMG Publishers Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible Jeff A. Benner, VBW Publishing Jeff A. Benner, VBW Publishing “A Study of Beresheit: The Book of Beginnings” “A Study of Beresheit: The Book of Beginnings” Bradford Scott, Audio & notes, Wildbranch Ministries Bradford Scott, Audio & notes, Wildbranch Ministries online Scripture resource online Scripture resource Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words W.E. Vine, Nelson Publishers W.E. Vine, Nelson Publishers Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament Harris, Archer, Waltke; Moody Press Harris, Archer, Waltke; Moody Press The Creation Gospel, The Creation Gospel, Dr. Hollisa Alewine; Dr. Hollisa Alewine;


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