towering canopies of life and death

1: Towering Trees

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Towering Canopies of Life and Death Series

Join Martha as she takes an uncompromising look at the ONLY two sources operating in this world, from Eden through today - and the inescapable choice ever before us.


And 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.
Genesis 2:9 NASB

Two trees still stand in the secret midst of the universe and in the timeless center of every human heart. Two towering canopies cast their shadow over every event and all relationships, calling for choice, ever calling for choice. One is death, the other Life. They demand unavoidable decisions by being diametrical opposites, incompatible and irreconcilable.

We can never have both mental
independence and absolute grace.

Only one tree was forbidden among the generous orchard of many permissible fruits. The only danger to the pure man and woman was the latent possibility within their own minds of imagining they were competent to know all things, to be self-sufficient gods. It was fantasy: that God’s creation could be free of God.  It was insanity: not needing His dialogue. That tree of independent knowing, of the finite mind becoming god-above-God, was poison to the pure, and death to original life.

A Double-dose of Death

A tree of two issues. Good and evil: two earthly holes into which we can drop our opinions, confine life to our unchallenged labels and so… control the mystery.

That one tree with two categories splits a person in diametrical poles, an opposition that becomes internal separation from the heart, and places the mind on a throne of delusion. The tree whose fruit grows from intellectual lust, is a poison of inevitable death. Spiritual and physical death, yes, but first, death of the heart wherein lies our shared pathos. The heart knows its tragic insufficiency. The mind tolerates no such reality.

The heart is the core of the person, the real self. When the mind rules, the throbbing heart is abandoned as needless, silenced as irrelevant and the real person has ceased to be, reduced to some lofty idea, fluffy and boring. The adventure as a distinctive person is lost in the abyss of thinking, a poor substitute for being.

The Insanity of the Self-god

Labeling and naming is independence of God, turning inward to self, luxuriating in thoughts from self and calling it God. And strangely, it is god. The god of “self”… selfish consideration of self’s ideas; honoring those notions as true truth, ultimate reality.

Self but not God. Opinions and not divine wisdom. Self, answerable to no One, indulging its fantasies, especially the delusion that God agrees. Self-condemnation or self-exaltation, these are the fruits of knowledge, and both kill the person

Where self is the origin,
Satan is the inspiration.

A Banquet of Opinion

The fruit of dark arrogance is a very banquet of death. Knowledge for knowing’s sake is suicide by pride. We are ever visiting the tree of death and munching the arrogance of humanistic idealism, assessing our grand and superior rightness and pontificating “others’ wrong and right.”

How freely we taste that forbidden fruit and pass it out! When we feed a banquet of our judgments and pass the plate of categories to others, we are murderers of lambs, wolves that scatter sheep from each other. And in chosen ignorance, by reckless folly, we are arranging our own funeral. The death we eat and offer becomes the death that comes for us.

Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
James 4:ll NASB

A Feast of Starvation

We must neither “eat” the fruit of pretentious intelligence nor “serve” it. Leave that empty table of starvation wherever it is laid before you. Dismantle your own banquet of pompous notions and fancy opinions.

Feed on God’s words and think on that splendor. Wander in the orchard of God’s sumptuous Life, His full and creative bounty. Feast on God’s supreme generosity hearing His unfathomable thoughts. His solutions always wait for our hearing. His boundless imagination soars beyond the best the mind can conjure.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:17 NASB

Dancing over the Grave of Death

The Tree of Life reigns over the human frailty of constant mistakes. Life – that exuberant Life of God Himself – swallows our petty trumped-up laws of demanding right and condemning wrong.

Our Extravagantly Good God – of the triumphant tree – consumes our ruinous disorder and creates in that very mess, a stream of living wisdom, a redemptive wealth! A permanent vibrance covering all despairing failure.

And we know that God causes all things
to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to {His} purpose.
Rom. 8:28 NASB

The Tree of Life is Christ. God is the only LIFE in the universe and the only Source of Life. Humanity died in Adam by that very dangerous tree we so freely imbibe. Now all that proceeds from humanity is death, for death spawns death. But Life is so Life that it can dissipate death-fruits into absolute triumph, washed away in the fresh springs of Life.

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).

Copyright © 2003 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Towering Canopies of Life and Death

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