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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
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Heaven. Part 4.
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Terms & Abbreviations used:
Human Good = Evil + Good Deeds while not in fellowship with God
OSN = Old Sin Nature
TLJC = The Lord Jesus Christ
SSE = Spiritual Self Esteem
PVTD = Positive Volition Towards Doctrine
+H - The Happiness of God
NVTD = Negative Volition Towards Doctrine
Doctrine = Bible Truth
BEGIN BIBLE STUDY
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotes and references
are from the NASB – New American Standard Bible
Heaven. Part 4.
ISA 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
ISA 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
The ultimate reward or decoration for us in Heaven will be the Order of the Morning Star. This decoration is taken from and named after our Lord’s third royal patent or title which is, “the King of kings, Lord of lords, the bright Morning Star;” (Rev 22:16, 2PE 1:19).
It’s important to note that the Order of the Morning Star is given to winner believers as the highest of all decorations in escrow blessings given by God. The interesting thing is that the Order of the Morning Star and the attainment of the different crowns allow us to enjoy the privileges that accompany eating of the Tree of Life. The winner believer can eat from the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God, located in the New Jerusalem. By the way the paradise, paradeisos according to the Theological word study of both the Old and New Testament is defined as a gazebo or a place of relaxation and entertainment.
So, because this gazebo is located in Heaven it will be the quintessence of rest and relaxation for the winner believer who will be rewarded by God in a special way. Therefore, let’s look at the passages and the principles of blessings that come from being able to eat of the fantastic blessings that accompany the Tree of Life. First of all, the Tree of Life is associated with perfect life and environment in the Garden of Eden as well as the perpetuation of a right relationship with God, GEN 2:9; GEN 3:22. For example in GEN 2:8-9, and the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man whom he had formed. 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.
When man sinned and was driven out of the garden and he was cut off from the Tree of Life, GEN 3:24.
In GEN 3:22-24, Then the Lord God said, “behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever” Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So he drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
The literal Tree of Life is not seen again by man until the eternal state, REV 2:7; REV 22:2, 14. It’s interesting that the importance and prominence of the Tree of Life is that the human history began with the Tree of life in Gen 2 and ends with the Tree of life in Rev 22.
REV 2:7, ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. to him who overcomes [nikao - the winner], I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.
Again the word paradise, paradesos, according to the Theological word study of both the Old and New Testament is defined as a gazebo of relaxation and entertainment. Then in REV 22:14, blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
Now the interesting thing is that in this life there is only one Tree of Life for mankind and it is related to the word of God or Bible doctrine, PRO 3:18, She [doctrine] is a Tree of Life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. And positive volition is also related to the Tree of Life in PRO 13:12, Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled [positive volition] is a Tree of Life.
This is why the Tree of Life will be located forever in the New Jerusalem, Rev 22:2. It will be a place where the word of God is glorified and where desire is totally fulfilled. Also notice that eternal happiness is associated with the Tree of Life, in REV 22:14 when it says not blessed but happy are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
Now, in GEN 2:9, we noted that there are four categories of trees in the Garden of Eden.
First of all, in GEN 2:9 we read 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. The first category is said to be every tree being desirable to the sight is the first category which is designed for the prosperity of the soul. All happiness must be related to the soul, to what you think. Happiness is not a set of circumstances. If you have capacity from doctrine in the soul, then you can express that happiness regardless of your circumstances. So category one was designed for man’s pleasure of soul and for his capacity for happiness.
The second category of trees was the category called “good for food”. Man also had physical happiness or happiness of his body. Food and beverages were designed to express happiness, to stimulate, to perpetuate health. In fact, notice what God said to the Jews who had prospered because of their PVTD in DEU 14:22-27, “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. And you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the first born of your herd and your flock, in order that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. And if the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the Lord your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the Lord your God blesses you, then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household. Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you.”
3JO 1:2, Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
The third category: The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life was both the capacity for perfect happiness and blessing, and total appreciation of God’s grace in the spiritual realm. The Tree of Life was and is related to the total happiness of man when he was first created. Today, the closest you can come to the Tree of Life is reaching spiritual maturity. People have asked what would have happened if man had eaten from the Tree of Life after he had sinned against God? If man, in spiritual death, had eaten from the Tree of Life, he would have lived forever in his present state of sinful immortality, in the status of spiritual death, and would eventually be condemned with the entire human race totally to the lake of fire. You cannot have an old sin nature and eat of this particular Tree of Life. That’s why the Lord said in GEN 3:22, “behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever”
The point is that you cannot have God’s perfect happiness and live in spiritual death and sin. So the present Tree of Life is provided by God’s grace associated with man’s positive volition, which was to be expressed in his free will toward the plan of God. However, a new tree had to be selected in order for happiness to exist. And that new tree is found in 1PE 2:24 and he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree. By expelling man from the garden, man could now choose to eat from the tree of the Cross. However, remember that only winners in the Christian life have the privilege of eating continually and habitually from the Tree of Life in the garden of God in eternity.
REV 2:7, “To the winner, I will give to him the privilege of eating from the Tree of Life which is in the paradise of God.”
Category four is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God in His grace has provided for us our own Garden of Eden which I call the PPOG, a perfect spiritual environment in this life. In this life, we can only be happy in the perfect environment of the PPOG. So after the fall, the purpose for the creation of man could only be perpetuated by cutting man off from the Tree of Life and providing a new Tree of Life: the Cross. By remaining in the Garden in spiritual death, man would have been immortal with unhappiness. Therefore, God cut man off from the
Tree of Life. And this was another manifestation that justice has to come before love.
Judgment had to come because condemnation must precede salvation. So man was originally designed for perfect happiness. Perfect happiness excludes boredom. Man sins many times because he becomes bored and familiar with it all. When we try to relieve boredom with excitement, we destroy the whole principle of God’s perfect happiness. For you can’t have God’s perfect happiness without capacity.
So, the Tree of Life perpetuates happiness and prosperity in both the human soul and body in perfect environment. Now, the first three categories are designed for man in innocence, and for the believer in resurrection body.
1. Every tree being desirable to the sight,
2. Those good for food,
3. The Tree of Life
Man did not need to have the knowledge of good and evil. Good represented the plan of God, evil represented the plan of Satan. We did not need to know the plan of God and the plan of Satan until we fell. We would not have known evil, sin, legalism, self-righteousness, religion, and the PPOG, if we had not fell or eaten from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These are only an issue to man in the state of spiritual death as a sinner.
In the garden, neither good nor evil were an issue because of the first three categories of trees. In innocence man didn’t have to understand good and evil to have a relationship with God. Only in sinfulness and spiritual death must man understand the issue of good versus evil. And therefore the Tree of Life for the believer today is Bible doctrine or PVTD.
PRO 3:13-18, How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She [wisdom] is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
Knowledge of Bible doctrine is the only Tree of Life available to the believer after salvation. And so learning doctrine in time is as close as we can get to the happiness of the Tree of Life. And for the believer who recovers and doesn’t quit no matter what, that believer will have fantastic blessings and rewards in heaven based upon the privilege of eating from the Tree of Life.
Now, how do you discover the Tree of Life in time?
PRO 3:13, How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.
The word blessed is the word ashreey meaning happinesses. Wisdom is chokmah. which is the Old Testament word for epignosis doctrine or metabolized doctrine.
PRO 3:14, For its profit [wisdom or metabolized doctrine] is better than the profit of silver, and its gain [is better] than fine gold.
You cannot even compare riches with wisdom for it is wisdom which gives you a capacity for life not riches.
PRO 3:15-16, She [wisdom] is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her [wisdom or metabolized doctrine]. Long life is in her right hand; [the right hand represents the hand of power]; in her left hand [the secondary hand] are riches and honor.
This simply means that capacity for life must precede riches and honor.
PRO 3:17, Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
The word pleasant is the Hebrew word no`am meaning gracious. Peace is shalowm meaning prosperity.
PRO 3:18 she [chokmah, wisdom, metabolized doctrine] is a tree of life to those who take hold of [to seize, to be constant, to continue, to be established, to retain] her, and happy are all who hold her fast who obtain, follow close, maintain, retain, support, or to hold strongly with her.
The following link is to a good news message describing how one can receive eternal life:
Ticket to Heaven, it was written for anyone not absolutely certain about their eternal future.