Updated: Jan 28
These thoughts came to me last night. I was editing an old writing and read something I had written in a new light. What I had written is still true, but this new light expands that truth to a greater meaning. A while back I presented a series of Bible Study articles that placed deep focus on the first four chapters of Genesis. Genesis 2 tells a story that all Christians are familiar with, but few realize the power held in those words written. Since very few take the time to delve deep into understanding, very few teach the true meaning. Thus, nobody goes around saying, “I believe the deeper truth … because somebody told me to believe that.” Genesis 2:9b states: “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” It is that information of truth that I want to expand upon.
Everyone loves to retell the stories of Scripture by restating the stories of Scripture. This means Genesis 2 is the story of God creating Adam and Eve and letting them live carefree lives in the Garden of Eden. That is the story written, so that is the story told. Telling the story as it was written gives that story no importance other than a vaguely stated historical record, which all believers are expected to defend, without any depth of knowledge beyond the translated words.
This means Genesis 2 [and all Scripture] needs to be read so that oneself is placed in the narrative, so what is written is strongly indicating how one should be, based on the lesson one becomes a part of. Here, in Genesis 2, every reader is called to be Adam – the Son of God that lives eternally in Heaven.
For that transfiguration to take place, one must read the written word metaphorically, rather than literally. The metaphor releases the words from a static position in the past, so the metaphor is easily applicable at all times – past, present, and future. The metaphor of Genesis 2:9b is “two trees in the middle of the garden.”
The written Hebrew word translated as “the garden” is “hag·gān,” rooted in “gan.” The word “gan” can also mean “enclosure.” Genesis 2:9a states, “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground [in the enclosure]—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” That too is metaphor, so the “enclosure” is more than two trees in the center, as there are many trees, which serve the purposes of being pleasing and offering fruits.
Here, everyone can become this story being told, when one sees the “enclosure” and all the “trees” as the development of a fetus in the womb. Like Adam, who “the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed,” (Genesis 2:8) all human beings are formed by the hand of God, from embryo to fetus to baby born. Like trees, our bodies form and grow inside an enclosure – the embryonic sac and the mother’s womb. We are all then children of God, which is important to realize. Genesis 2 is a parallel story to each of our own creations.
This makes the two trees at the center of the garden become metaphor for “life” and “the knowledge of good and evil.” These must not be seen as physical trees, like arms, legs, brains and hearts. Instead they are spiritual trees. One is the soul and the other is the Holy Spirit.
At this point in the story the metaphor presents a circumstance that is not applicable to those reading today, nor to anyone who has ever read these words that was or is not a true Apostle. We all have souls – the tree of knowledge of good and evil – but the Holy Spirit is only within those who are reborn as the Son of Man – the tree of eternal life. It is this absence present that becomes the reason this story is told. Genesis 2 is the story of the birth of the Son of man – Adam – who would later be known as Jesus, meaning an Apostle represents the rebirth of one’s being [one’s enclosure], where the entrance of God’s Holy Spirit transforms one into the Son of man – Jesus Christ resurrected.
To realize this absence today, where the tree of eternal life is not born into human beings at birth, one needs to go to Genesis 3 and read of Eve’s conversation with the serpent – the wisest of all the creatures. The serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1b) Eve answered, ““We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 3:2)
Notice how Eve said nothing about the tree of life. The serpent’s question about what trees could not be eaten from excluded the tree of life, knowing it was a non-food producing tree. The tree of eternal life was not “good for food and pleasing to the eye,” like was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 3:6b) The tree of life has to be seen as the compliment tree to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so the fruit of that tree and its pleasing appearance was a product of God’s Holy Spirit – the tree of life. While separate, the two were interconnected.
When Eve told the serpent what she had been taught: “you must not touch it, or you will die,” death was impossible as long as one had the tree of eternal life at one’s core. To eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil meant taking upon oneself the responsibility of a life that was led by one’s acts that are “desirable for gaining wisdom.” (Genesis 3:6c) To become as the serpent promised – “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) – means one takes on the responsibility of one’s own life, should one eat of that fruit of knowledge. The promise of that selfishness is mortality. One loses God’s Holy Spirit of eternal life and becomes just a soul in a body of flesh, which is a promise of death to come.
We then read, “She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.” (Genesis 3:6d-7a) The advent of nakedness is a statement about the loss of the tree of eternal life in their lives. The element of their actions, based on that awareness – “they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” – says their brains [then awakened] began a lifelong process of realizing how weak oneself is without God’s protection, creating the need for improvising in an ever-threatening world, so others cannot see just how weak one truly is.
The aspect of sewing fig leaves together, without the invention of needles and thread, says the Hebrew word “way·yiṯ·pə·rū,” rooted in “taphar,” means they intertwined the branches of a fig tree, so they made a hoop skirt that covered their genitals. This factor becomes metaphor that bears two important statements of truth that surrounds all human beings today.
First, beings of eternal life have no reason to reproduce, being immortal. The wisdom that came to Adam and Eve then told them their future deaths meant they now had to figure out how to make babies. Since God had made the two with reproduction in mind (relative to the “rib” of Adam being the design of sexual difference, with Eve designed to be a “wife”), they did not cover their nakedness to keep God from knowing they were man and woman (to be husband and wife). They covered their nakedness because their newly activated brains saw each other as sensually exciting. They covered themselves to stop their brains from thinking about having sex. This is still a problem that hinders human beings today.
Second, they fashioned their crude garments from branches. One can assume those branches were fruitless, as a fig tree was one of those trees that were good for food. While the fig branches were pulled while green, thus pliable, once torn from the tree they became dead branches. This becomes the same metaphor Jesus used, where branches that no longer produce fruit are pruned and thrown into the fire and burned. That which Adam and Eve covered themselves with were worthless expressions of intellect, with no lasting value. To hide the truth of their bodies of flesh, they surrounded themselves with that which projected their own deaths, as they had severed themselves from eternal life.
When you realize this metaphor of dead branches that had no means of bearing fruit, this brings to light the purpose of two trees in the center of one’s enclosure that have been paired with another tree, where one is the source of all life [God] and the other is the product of that source [Beauty, Obedience, Truth]. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is then the fruit of the good vine, of which Jesus preached. That tree becomes the metaphor for Jesus saying his disciples had to become the fruit of him, which is not for self-consumption, but to become the food [the seeds within] that transforms others into Apostles. The tree of knowledge of good and evil becomes the Law written upon the hearts of those who love God and desire to serve only Him.
This means the serpent spoke the truth, which means all who eat of the fruit given by God, through them for others [not for oneself], makes one pretend to be all-powerful by eating that which is not produced for oneself, as if one’s own fruits were self-produced. That becomes the warning by God, not to eat of the fruit given through them – as His servants – because to eat that fruit is to wear the face of self before God, which turns God away from anyone professing to be a lesser god.
Simply by reading Genesis 2 and saying, “The first four verses of Genesis 2 should be considered to be the ending of Genesis 1 and not part of Genesis 2” is eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One has created that conclusion from within one’s own brain, which one consumes as if one is all-powerful enough to say, “I hold the power of knowledge, as a god of understanding.” That knowledge is little more than a dead branch torn from that tree, coving up one’s inability to talk to God directly as an eternal soul merged with the Holy Spirit. It becomes the proclamation of self, which is a pronouncement of one’s mortality, with no eternal life within one’s reach.
The value of this realization of the two trees within the core of one’s being was the intent of God creating His first priests. God knew His priests could not remain forever in the enclosure of Heaven. God knew they had to lose the Holy Spirit and become mortals, simply because their message would forever be to teach the animal-like creatures of man the need to receive the Holy Spirit and become whole again. Everything written in the Holy Bible that follows the creation of Adam and Eve are the stories [the metaphor] of those who followed this receptivity and became the living word of God in the flesh.
As this was a dawning that came to me last night – sent by the Father for me to share freely – I offer it to you as the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because that tree (since the Fall from grace] is representative of only a soul in a body of flesh, doomed to die as a mortal creature, I offer this as the fruit from a soul that has merged with the Holy Spirit. As the resurrection of Jesus Christ within my being, I offer this as the good fruit of his vine. I offer it for your consumption, in hopes that you will see the truth of this fruit and be led to receive the Holy Spirit and become a new shoot of the vine of Christ. I do not need to chew on this fruit, because I experienced its growth through me. It has come from the story written within my heart, which now hangs from that living vine for you to pluck.
By R. T. Tippett