The Tree of Life (part 1): Zoe-Life
#3.1 of Living with Christ as our SOURCE
*** This article is part of a blog series about what it means to live with Christ as our source. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***
In section two, “in the beginning,” we observed a few things and asked many questions. Here is a summary of the main points we looked at:
- Childlike dependence on God: God made man to be dependent on something other than himself; an external source. And in the beginning man lived by the Word of God alone. He did only as God instructed him. He was living blissfully in pure untainted relationship with God as his all sufficient source for life.
- Curiosity killed humanity: But then, he was lured away from being connected to God as his only source by the craftiness of a different source, satan. His curiosity drove him to “listen” to the word of satan and consider what he had to say above what God had said.
- Taking Dominion, or Not…: This however, was confusing because God had explicitly instructed man to take dominion over the the creeping things (His enemy). So why didn’t he? Why did he just receive from the serpent instead of exercising God’s authority over him?
The answer: He COULDN’T!
For he did not yet possess the “Life of God.”
In the beginning, God told man that he can eat from the fruit of any tree in the garden accept from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He also mentions the Tree of Life in the midst (center) of the garden. Even though he never specifically tells them to eat from the Tree of Life, it is assumed because it is in the garden and therefore falls in the category – “any tree in the garden.”
Now, to help us understand what exactly the Tree of Life is and why Genesis specifically mentions it, I will paraphrase an explanation that Watchmen Nee gives in a book he wrote called “The Spiritual Man.” He explains:
Some Bible scholars point out to us that three different words are employed in the Greek to designate “life”: (1) bios (2) psuche, and (3) zoe. They all describe life but convey very different meanings. Bios has reference to the means of life or living. People use this term to refer to “making a living,” or “earning a living.” Our Lord Jesus used this word when He commended the woman who cast into the temple treasury her whole living. Psuche refers to the animated life of man, his natural life or the life of the soul. The Bible employs this term when it describes the human life. Zoe is the highest life (or God’s life), the life of the Spirit. Whenever the Bible speaks of Eternal Life it uses this word.
Our English Bibles do not differentiate between the different types of “life” as does the Greek. And so the Tree of Life is not just the Tree of Normal-Life (or psuche life) as we know it, which is to live and breathe and walk and talk. No, it is the Tree of Zoe-Life. Which is God’s uncreated and eternal life. Or as Watchmen Nee calls it: the highest life.
From this we can gather something truly miraculous: God placed in the center of the Garden a tree that would bare fruit with His very life in it. A tree that would give those who ate of its fruit God’s own uncreated Zoe-Life. Isn’t that completely out of this world!
God wanted to impart His life into man. And so He provided this for him in a means that was accessible to him. In the form of Fruit. Man would essentially live and grow by God’s life in the same way we we live and grow today: by Eating.
Let me tell you, since receiving this revelation, I have been seeing things a whole lot differently. It has really changed the way I look at life, the bible, and my spiritual walk with Christ. And I would like to share it with all of you. So I would like to make available an audio message that brings this revelation to life in an awesome way.
It is one of the first and fundamental lessons Frank Viola teaches every one of the churches he plants or works with. He sees it as one of the most integral elements in being a church that lives by the Indwelling Life of Christ together. It will rock your world and revolutionise the way you understand your purpose and God’s initial and ultimate desire in creating you, as well as give you a few glimpses of how you can begin to live out that eternal purpose practically. It really is going to blow your socks off!
You can listen to it online or download it by clicking on the “download” button and then right clicking and selecting “save link as” on the next page. Also, check out a few comments of people that have listened to it before by scrolling down (they are very encouraging). Go to the message now by clicking here. Enjoy!
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