Man was not supposed to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good or evil, but from the tree of life. If he is not suppose to use his knowledge of good and evil to guide him, how does the tree of life give him guidance?
When we believed, we received Christ as the Spirit into our spirit. The Spirit in us communicates with our spirit so we understand in our minds. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit…” (Rom. 8:16) When the Spirit came in to make a home in our hearts (John 14:23), it begins to make us understand who God is and what his nature is like. It provides us with a wisdom that is from above. Elihu said to Job, “I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit of man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.” (Job 32:7-9) To know what is right, is not based on our own understanding gleaned over the years. It is from the breath of the Almighty.
When man was created, he was made with a spirit that could contain the divine life and understand the divine realm. He was suppose to eat from the tree of life, which represented God’s life so he could contain God and express his being. When God enters into man’s spirit, it not only gives him understanding, but the power to do what is right. It gives him the ability to carry out what is right because the divine nature is in this life. Its characteristic is righteousness. All that can emanate from it is righteousness because it is the divine life. We do not imitate Christ’s life by our own efforts, but Christ has to be life to us.
Christ carries the divine nature and the divine life into us. He is the very nature and life that expresses who God is in us. He is the element of the divine that can be contained in man. That is why we are “earthen vessels.” “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Cor. 4:7) The very Christ within us provides us with the wisdom to make us wise and a power to carry out what is right. That is how we have the ability to do what is right.
A distraction came into this wonderful plan. Man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When he ate from this tree, he gained a sense that he could do what is right because he had the knowledge of good and evil. He felt he could judge all situations and know what was right for him to do. So that is what he did. He began to judge one thing as being good and another as being evil. This judgment was only determined from his own personal viewpoint, because he was made of the flesh and was a finite being. It was not from a universal standpoint that is divine, that took into consideration all of us, that was infinite because it was of the divine life. Because he was made of the flesh and was finite, he had no ability to truly understand and realize the things that are infinite. He has no ability to realize the divine. That is why we cannot do what is right.
Though man gained a conscience, he did not know how to use and handle it. He adds to it and subtracts from it. He ignores it and even denies it completely. He does not “renounce the things hidden because of shame.” (2 Cor. 4:20) and is “walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God.” (2 Cor. 4:2) He tramples it underfoot so he could rule, so he could do what he wishes. He wants to be the ‘god’ is his life. That is why, “in this world you have tribulations [afflictions],” (John 16:33) because we are all trying to rule in our own lives. We are all trying to head up all things in ourselves.
All things must be headed up in Christ today. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) Paul was made to realize this on the road to Damascus. Everything that he did, all that he grew up with, all that he was taught, as long as it was apart from Christ, was nothing. The fact that he was “circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless,” (Phi. 3:5-6) none of this meant anything. “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them rubbish so that I may gain Christ.” (Phi. 3:7-8) On the road to Damascus, when Christ revealed to him that he was persecuting Christ himself, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4), his spiritual eyes were opened and he realized he was blinded in his flesh. He finally saw that who he was persecuting by maintaining external laws and ways of practice was Christ. By upholding his own sense of what righteousness should be, he has lost Christ. By upholding what we think righteousness is, realize we can lose Christ. By upholding our own righteousness we can miss the vision of who Christ is and miss the mark. We need to “be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Phi. 3:9) We must let Christ head up all things in us today.
To solve all of this world’s conflicts, we must let Christ rule within our hearts. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” (Col. 3:15) ‘The peace of Christ, let rule, in your hearts,’ is the phasing in Greek. ‘The peace of Christ’ is an essence that we can sense in our spirit. It is the way the Spirit communicates with our spirit. “The Spirit witnesses with our spirit…” (Rom. 8:16) The peace of Christ is how we sense God and know if what we are doing is good or evil. This peace is not of the flesh, is not finite, but this peace is universal, it is corporate, and infinite. It is the peace of Christ and not of ourselves. This is what must rule in our hearts. Instead of looking to our own sense of peace based of what we think is good and evil, realize we must have this peace of God within that is universal. It is a peace that is intimately linked to the Word and revealed in the logos. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) When it comes to us, it becomes the pneuma, the breath of God, (2 Tim. 3:16) supplying us with the divine life, an essence of Christ. It is a peace that maintains us in sweet fellowship with him. It is a peace of God that maintains our hearts and minds before him. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” It guards us there, this unique place where the Father and Son has made their home in — within our hearts. “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” (2 Tim. 1:14) Stay in the peace of God. It is a treasure that we need to guard. It is Christ himself. So instead of letting our own corrupted knowledge of good and evil rule, we let the peace of Christ arbitrate within our hearts. It will transform the way we think and behave, giving us the ability to follow God and have a good conscience. When we do this, “the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not of ourselves.” (2 Cor. 4:7) This is the treasure in our earthen vessels.
Instead of heading up all things in ourselves, we now head up all things in Christ. Instead of ruling by our own personal corrupted knowledge of good and evil, we let the universal and infinite Christ rule within us. This is how the Body of Christ will be built up into the one new man, where we “have put on the new self [man], which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free, but Christ is all and in all.” (Col. 3:10-11) In the Body of Christ, there is no divisions among us. All Christians are unified. There are no longer any ordinances separating us. Everything is under the headship of Christ. There is only one head, Christ. Christ will head up all things rather than our own sense of what is right or wrong. Instead of holding up our own determinations of what in theologically correct, there is only the reality of Christ, the ‘truth’ in all our determinations. We, as his Body, become his one true expression. With Christ forming the headship, there is no longer divisions among us. Christ becomes the all in all thus fulfilling the will of God. “Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:9-10) The word ‘to unite’ in Greek, not only has a sense of joining everything together, but, in the Interlinear Bible, it is translated as ‘to head up,’ (anakephalaiosasthai – to head up, Greek). When we abide by the peace of God within each one of us, letting Christ rule in our hearts heading up all things, God’s purpose for creating man and his will for mankind as the universal one new man expressing him will be fulfilled. All the afflictions in this world will be gone, and we will have peace in him. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” When we are in Christ, letting him head up all things in us, we will have peace. The world with it afflictions caused by our own corrupted knowledge of good and evil resulting in separation and division is finally over. There is only one new man. “By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.” (Eph. 2:15) Notice that Christ is creating this one new man in himself by heading up all things in Christ, both the things in heaven and the things on earth. (Eph. 1:9-10) We have “put on this new man, which was created according to (in the likeness of) God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.” (Eph. 4:24 – Recovery Version) The new man has been transformed to the likeness or image of God fulfilling the purpose of why we, men, were created in his image. The righteousness and holiness of God becomes our reality. That is how peace will be made on earth as it is in heaven through Christ and his Body, the church. Heaven and earth will finally be unified under the headship of Christ. “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:13) When Christ has the headship and is all and in all, heaven and earth will abide in his righteousness. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Rev. 21:1) The problem that existed when “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of waters” (Gen. 1:2) and the associated “darkness [that] was over the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:2) is finally no more. This final resolution will usher in the New Jerusalem, the foundation (‘jeru’) of peace (‘salem’), in the fullness of time, uniting heaven and earth into a new unified heaven and earth, a New Jerusalem, where only righteousness dwells under the headship of Christ who is all and in all. “Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite (head up) all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:9-10)