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Monday, July 13 2015

Isaiah 25: Which Tree Will You Pick Fruit From?

"Out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food ... the tree of life ... and the tree of knowledge of good and evil"

The topographical map below shows the area centered on what is today Iraq. To the north, at the top of the map, are the mountain ranges where Noah landed after the Flood (see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).

At the center of the map is the Tigris-Euphrates river valley, where man was created, and where the LORD planted the Garden in Eden (the Garden wasn't itself Eden i.e. "the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden").

Notice carefully that "out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Two different trees - but the prohibition was to only one of them: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Eden

"2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:7-17 KJV)

Satan (see also What Is Satan's Real Name?) deceived the humans to take of the one forbidden tree - "the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

"3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil 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?

3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3:3 But of 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.

3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 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.

3:6 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." (Genesis 3:1-6 KJV)

When the first humans became sinners, the LORD only then prevented them from taking "also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." Instead of the eternal life that they previously had freely available to them ("of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat"), they were sentenced to a life of hard labour - and then death.

"3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:18-19 KJV)

"3:22 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 for ever: 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 3:24 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 then began the process of redeeming sinful humanity from death - to restore man's access to "the tree of life": "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

"2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7 KJV)

The Messiah paid the death penalty, but the pardon is for the repentant, not the lawless: "Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life" (see Ungodly Men Who Turn Grace Into Lawlessness and Which Way Is Right And Left?; also Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Decadence In History And Prophecy). Everyone may still choose the wrong "tree" ("He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still") or the right "tree" ("he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still").

A Park

"22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

22:14 Blessed 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. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:11-15 KJV)

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" by the choice that is made. Then, when all has been done, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

"15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Corinthians 15:20-26 KJV)

The first resurrection to salvation will happen on the day of Christ's return (see The Feast Of Trumpets: The First Christian Salvation Day).

"15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 KJV)

The second resurrection will happen 1,000 years after Christ's return (see The Eighth Day: When Life Will Begin Again).

"20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:1-6 KJV)

Those of the first resurrection will already have been judged worthy (they wouldn't be in the earlier resurrection otherwise), while those of the later resurrection will then have the means and opportunity to do what the earlier group chose to do. Those who reject the LORD's offer of life by choosing the wrong "tree," will be cast into the lake of fire and obliterated to a state as though they never existed - the reason that death itself will be able to be put to death at that time - there will be no dead because those who repent will be granted eternal life, and those who refuse to repent will be, not only put to death (in which death could still exist), but put to oblivion, so that death may be abolished - it will then have no hold on anyone.

Crossing

"20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)

When the Work of the Messiah has been completed (see What's The Expiration Date Of The Church? and The Church: Mission Accomplished), God is coming to Earth - at which time "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:1-8 KJV)

Isaiah was given to see and record the very same prophecies that we covered above: "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it."

"25:1 O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 25:2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. 25:3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 25:5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.

25:6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 25:7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

25:10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. 25:11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. 25:12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust." (Isaiah 25:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was "the LORD God" that the first humans in the Garden of Eden knew and spoke with?
See In The Beginning Was The Word and The LORD God Our Saviour


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This Day In History, July 13

1174: William I of Scotland, a leading rebel in the Revolt of 1173-1174, was captured at Alnwick by Henry II of England.

1260: The Battle of Durbe; the Livonian Order was defeated by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1410: Poland and Lithuania defeated the Teutonic Knights at Tannenberg.

The English Civil War 1534: Ottoman forces captured Tabriz in Persia (Persia has been known since the 1930s as Iran).

1558: During the Valois Hapsburg War, the French under Marshal de Thermes were defeated by the Flemish and their allies, aided by the English fleet, at the Battle of Gravelines.

1573: During the Eighty Years' War: the Siege of Haarlem ended after 7 months (the area of New York City, earlier known as New Amsterdam, known as Harlem was named after Haarlem in the Netherlands by the Dutch when they were the colonial power in eastern North America).

1585: A group of 108 English pioneers, led by Sir Richard Grenville, arrived to establish a royal colony in the wilderness of what is today known as Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

1621: Albert the Pious, cardinal, son of Holy Roman emperor Maximilian II, nephew of Philip II of Spain, died at age 62. He ruled the Spanish Netherlands jointly with his wife Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain. He managed to control only the 10 southern Catholic provinces (today Belgium and Luxembourg), while the 7 northern Protestant provinces (today the Netherlands) rebelled.

1643: During the English Civil War, the Parliamentarians were defeated by the Royalists under Prince Maurice at the Battle of Roundway Down.

1662: Charles II granted a charter to establish the Royal Society in London.

1837: Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to live in Buckingham Palace.

1854: The Battle of Guaymas in Mexico. General Jose Maria Yanez repelled a French invasion by Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon.

1863: The New York Draft Riots. Opponents of military conscription began 3 days of riots that became among the worst in U.S. history.

1878: The Ottoman Empire was further reduced with the signing of the Treaty of Berlin. The Caucasus was given to Russia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Austria. Romania became independent and the treaty also confirmed Britain's right to occupy Cyprus. Listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire; also, The European World Wars.

1882: The British destroyed forts built by the Arabi Pasha threatening the Suez Canal after three days of firing by battleships led by Sir Beauchamp Seymour in the Egyptian rebellion.

1892: A heat wave in New York City killed 260 people in 24 hours.

1919: The British airship R34 landed back in Norfolk after making the first-ever Atlantic aerial round-trip. It set out from Scotland to North America on July 2.

1943: The greatest tank battle in history ended with Russia's defeat of Germany at Kursk, south of Moscow. Almost 6,000 tanks took part, 2,900 were lost by Germany. There were at least 230,000 casualties in the battle.

1977: A massive power failure, attributed to budget shortfalls that limited required maintenance, caused a blackout throughout New York City. Looting and rioting immediately broke out, with police arresting at least 3,000 people.

1992: Yitzhak Rabin became the Prime Minister of the modern state of Judah, known as "Israel" (see Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings and Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).


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