Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
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.
Life’s fundamental choices are pictured as trees, living and rooted. Trees, representing sources of life-nourishment. Trees, standing for the primal origins of our direction and our destination. The Tree of our preference dictates the end of our journey.
The Trees are two sources of thought, of ideas. Two fountains of opinion, offered into the realm of mankind’s hearing.
The Trees are two speakers.
There are only two fountains of thought in the universe: God, the Father of Jesus Christ… and Satan, His diametric opposite. Life and Death stand sentinel over humanity and they are “expressive,” ever speaking, always calling…both of them. These two auspicious trees offer us two mindsets. Two views. Two entirely opposite values.
All insight and ideas issue from the Trees that tower over humanity and pour thoughts into the world.
Humankind was created, limited to hearing.
Eve had no original thoughts, no recorded inklings that came from her own mind. She was a listener only. Her thoughts followed and embellished but did not originate. Her decision was only this: “To whom shall I listen? I have two choices.”
Two minds, two spirit ideas were available to her, but her own thoughts were influenced by and subject to, the thinking of the Tree she chose. Of what she heard, she then thought upon.
Mankind must hear before he can think.
Man and woman were warned, “do not eat,” but in their listening was their eating, and in digesting what they heard, it became their internal believing. As they listened to the twisting of God’s truth from the cunning serpent, they were invaded by his subtle distortions and persuaded by his covert opposition to God’s Word. By the misquoting of God’s command, the serpent negated the consequences and made God nothing to be feared. He took their fear of God and corrupted it into the fear of “not knowing.”
Satan’s ideas fester in the Tree of Knowledge and to seek learning for its own worth is to eat his dark lies and absorb his falsehoods. Ambition for knowledge apart from God is to unknow all He has before made known to you.
By naive consideration of the wrong Tree, Eve lost the clarity of her simple instruction from the mouth of her God.
The Tree of good and evil offers confusing fruit. Alternatives appear that never occurred to you while in God’s presence. The issue of God’s known will becomes fogged with complexity, and it is complexity that captures and flatters the intellect.
Excuses flow. Logic appeals. If you are obsessed to understand before you are willing to obey, you will always seek this Tree…chew its poison…and die! To hear it is to disobey God.
In the story of our original problem, both God and Satan gave thoughts to humanity. Both spoke and both continue to speak down to our very day, to this present and looming moment. And mankind is ever merely an unoriginal listener with only the choice of “whose” thoughts to hear and ponder. Two voices speak to us by a current stream of ideas.
Every moment presents a choice between voices from two contrary Ideals.
The Source is the question.
Truth is not to be taken for its own sake or valued as the quest or the solution. That was the original mistake. Truth must issue only from the Life source, the very mouth of God, or it is to be rejected solely on the basis of its source. The source of knowledge determines its value and its effects. Satan as the source of knowledge speaks with bits of truth mixed in webs of lies. The truth he quotes is always twisted in the cords of his added lies. And because of the source, it is not to be heard, even if there was once a little truth! To hear it is to listen to Satan…and die.
We hear “beings,” not just words. In listening, we receive the nature of the one who is behind the words.
The choice is the counterfeit knowledge of Satan, or the All-Knowing mind of God Himself. That was the original, and still the present, choice. But it is a choice between two “beings.” Two speaking beings: God or Satan. Not the weighing of two different ideas.
The choice is knowledge OR God.
Eve wanted knowledge more than God. She did not present to God the questions Satan posed but answered them in her own mind with the logic that stemmed from her desires. She agreed because she wanted to agree.
It is implied in the Hebrew that Adam was there “elbow to elbow” with Eve. So he was with her in the temptation and by his silence, agreed along with her, leaving as it were, the responsibility of his choice entirely upon… her choice.
God Himself must be valued above knowledge.
Whatever Satan speaks is a lie. Jesus declared it.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
John 8:44 NASB
God the Trinity is the source and the only one humanity needs. We do not need knowledge, though we want it by our lust for independence of God, which is the real lust and knowledge is the vehicle to it.
Jesus and the Serpent in the Tree
The same serpent came to the Son of God with his ancient technique: the subtle misapplication of God’s own words in a way that justifies what is already desired in the heart. Jesus’ answer was His loyalty to God’s voice alone. His very life was derived from one source. And He would not “take in and eat” the words of Satan, from wherever those words came.
He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4 Amplified).
Jesus’ fidelity was to the very Person of God in a relationship of dialogue. A voice is intimate. Mere thoughts are impersonal. To hear the Voice, you must be in the real presence of the one you hear. God’s mind was Jesus’ chosen dependence. He emphatically refused intellectual independence.
Jesus was the only man to ever utterly refuse the deceitful logic of Satan’s Tree.
Humanity goes from one Tree to the other.
Jesus was asking the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:15-17 NASB).
It seems just a short time later Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death in Jerusalem. Once again Peter spoke. This man who had learned Christ’s identity from the source of God in heaven, now could so easily speak from the opposite source.
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Reading: Matthew 16:21-26 NASB
Jesus warned the disciple that he was not “setting his mind on God’s interests.” Our thinking cannot slide its own way. Our mind must be SET toward “the nature and quality of God” not the values of selfish humanity (Amplified Bible).
By speaking from Satan’s thoughts, Peter had become a stumbling block, a veritable enemy to Jesus’ obedience. It is amazing to consider that Satan was able to be literally present through Peter’s words who simply thought he knew what was best, to save the life of Jesus. Man’s mind will always tend toward the saving of face, the protection of self. And for those thoughts, the Tree of Death waits.
Peter could speak from the very revelation of God, given to one who intimately sought Him. But he could speak as readily from the Tree of Death. Jesus, the Lamb, listened His whole life for the Shepherd-Father’s constant voice. Having lived 30 years solely by the Voice of God, He knew instantly the source of Peter’s thoughts and identified it as… Satan!
Such is our human capacity. At any time, even the well intentioned, even the followers of Christ, can be the spokesman of God’s enemy. We are free and capable of listening, unknowingly, to thoughts of death from the Tree that flatters us that we can know and…do know.
We must live as our Lord and Savior, confining our listening in surrender to the only source of Life… Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4 NKJV).
Copyright © 2003 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Towering Canopies of Life and Death