Purpose For Tree of Life

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr Mixer GED, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    As we all know, God denied Adam and Eve access to the Tree of Life after the fall. My question is, if man was made to live forever, why the Tree of Life?
     
  2. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    EDIT: Really, whether they were blocked or not makes no difference. Why was there a Tree of Life if man was already made to live forever? And if "live forever" did not mean physically, do we deduce that Adam was not saved since after the fall he could not access the TOL? Or is it possible man was never made to physically live forever, even pre-fall?
     
  3. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    Anything one might say about the Tree of Life will be, for the most part, speculation based on other passages that might illuminate what God inferred by revealing that there WAS (and IS) a Tree of Life.

    What we know is that there WAS a Tree of Life in the original created Garden Paradise. We know that it had edible fruit of some sort (Milton popularized the concept of an apple with his poem "Paradise Lost.") We know that God was concerned, that if humans ate of that tree they would live forever. We know that God barred humans from that tree.

    Next, we know that there either IS or WILL BE another Tree of Life in the new heaven and new earth. We know that this tree will bear multiple sorts of edible fruit, one for each month of the year. We know that we WILL get to eat that fruit and live forever. We know that the Tree or Life will be prominant in the center of the city of God -- New Jerusalem.

    Here are the specific passages where the Tree of Life is mentioned in Scripture:

    Genesis 3:22
    Genesis 3:24
    Proverbs 3:18
    Proverbs 11:30
    Proverbs 13:12
    Proverbs 15:4
    Revelation 2:7
    Revelation 22:2
    Revelation 22:14

    Speculation about the Tree of Life includes:

    -- Do we HAVE to eat of that tree to live forever?
    -- What is God's overall plan for the tree (why did He create it)?
    -- What sort of fruit(s) was it?
    -- Why did the enemy not cause Adam to eat of that tree first, then eat from the Tree of Knowledge (presumably because the enemy WANTED man to die!)?
    -- Does the tree shed its leaves, does it have leaves, or something else (God is very creative!)?
    -- Will we have to eat -- or get to eat -- often or just once?
    -- What sort of tree would produce fruit enough for all the redeemed ones?

    And, likely a host of other questions...
     
  4. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    I agree. What more can we do than speculate based upon what we DO know? What is your personal opinion on these questions posed and why? Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    My personal take on the questions I raised is that we will find out when we see the Tree in person some day. Other than that, I will not speculate further, and that is not for lack of interest, but rather that any speculation goes beyond what God revealed in Scripture, and I am not one to create some intricate allegory just to explain something that we can and probably should leave alone.
     
  6. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    I am in agreement. This is precisely why I bring this question up. Most will say that man was intended to physically live forever prior to the fall. From what scripture gives, I believe that is also a presumptuous take on things.
     
  7. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Humanity was not designed to live forever in this mortal shell. I've always felt that the reason that God banned Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life (whatever that means) was to prevent them from living forever in their sinful and fleshly state.

    They had to eventually die.

    Just my opinion.
     
  8. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
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    I believe the same and I would think most too follow this thought. After the fall, they were in a sinful state and God did not want them to live eternally in such a state. However, the problem we run into here, is the fact that most (that I have heard anyway) believe Adam was eventually saved. If this was the case, the Tree of Life was most likely literal and not a reference to salvation. If the TOL was literal, meaning, if one ate of it they would physically exist forever, then the theory that man was made to live forever prior to the fall becomes suspect.
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Genesis 2:17 tells us that God told Adam he could eat the fruit of every other tree in the garden.except of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    I'm reading into that the idea that among all the other trees was the Tree of Life. I'm thinking that, in fact, Adam and Eve did eat the fruit of the Tree of Life. Had they not disobeyed, they would have lived forever. As a result of their sin, God barred them access to the Tree of Life. That's why they eventually died, and why we all eventually die.

    In the Revelation (ch.22), John is shown the river of life, and the tree of life which stood on each side of the river. (That's interesting in itself). We might infer from that, that the tree is there once again for us to eat, and live forever.

    Could some of this be symbolic rather than literal? Maybe. But if it's literal, it certainly makes some sense to me.

    This scenario is not one that I'll argue for strongly, but y'all will have to agree that it's worth looking at.

    Ah, I just noticed that Scarlett posted something along these lines in post #7.
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Just for consideration, consider the question of how man gains eternal life.

    Most would agree man was in relationship with God in the Garden, and whether Adam would have lived forever or not if he had not disobeyed God might be answered if we can narrow the field of possibilities for how man can have eternal life.

    Positionally, the redeemed are said over and over to have eternal life when they are saved. Most would agree to that.

    Most would agree that man is glorified before entering the eternal state, where we will once again see the tree of life. That would suggest strongly that eternal life has another source than the tree of life, wouldn't it?

    Silly question, I know.


    Revelation 22

    1And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

    2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:



    Notice that there is the tree of life, which is for the healing of the nations, which I take to picture the reversal of the Garden Event which brought the curse (upon the nations, so to speak), rather than a remedy for, lets say, skinned knees upon the streets of gold.

    And there shall be no more curse: again, a reversal of the Garden event, man's separation from God, a restoring of the relationship Adam had with God.


    14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.


    John records these words, and again I ask, could this not be viewed as speaking of man restored?

    Note also:


    17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


    The water of life: is this not the very river mentioned in v.1?

    And will we also need to drink of this river, as well as partake of the leaves of the tree of life?

    I would say no, eternal life has but one source, that is, God.

    In the Garden we see:


    Genesis 3

    17And 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;

    18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;



    We see that all of creation was affected by a curse through Adam's disobedience. Prior to the fall, no thorns, no thistles, that would seem to be a reasonable conclusion.

    Looking back to this...


    Revelation 22

    3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:



    So, if we look at Adam's state before he fell, and ascribed eternal life to him, it would only seem reasonable to conclude that consistently in scripture we are taught that eternal life has but one source, that is God. I would agree it is speculation on our part to be dogmatic about Adam's state, whether he would die physically or not, but, if we are dogmatic that Adam did die "the day" that he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we might conclude that Adam died spiritually.

    Access to the tree of life may have extended his life physically, but I do not think we have to equate the result of Adam eating of that tree with eternal life" which has but one source, the Eternal God.

    As I said, submitted for consideration.

    God bless.
     

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