The Seed, the Law of Nature, and The Tree of Life through the pages of the Bible


The Seed, the Law of Nature, and The Tree of Life through the pages of the Bible

Writter: Evangelos D. Kepenes (March 13, 2021)



The Natural Seed

In the created natural world, the Creator put in every living organism -plant, tree, animal, human- its special natural seed, which is the vital force for the unique biological process of reproduction of each species. Through the seeds, the continuity of the species is perpetuated by the reproduction of new ones without an expiration date of the process.

And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORD blessed him.” (Gen. 26:12)

So the cattle conceived at the rods, and the cattle brought forth [young] speckled, and streaked and spotted with ash-coloured [spots].” (Gen. 30:39, LXXE)

If a woman conceive seed, and bear a male …” (lev. 12:2, Darby)

Thus, the natural seeds constantly and uninterruptedly give birth to new plants, new trees, new animals, new people to replace the old ones whose biological life has ceased. This natural process precludes the individual biological eternity of the species.

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For, said she, God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him.” (Gen. 4:25)

And elsewhere it says about the living organisms:

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” (Ps. 104:29-30)

The incorruptible biblical God never said that the "natural seed" is incorruptible; on the contrary, He describes it as "corruptible" like the earthly man and everything made by him.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (1Cor. 9:25)

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” (Rom. 1:22-23)

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” (1Pet. 1:23)

The common way of reproduction of the living organisms of nature through the corruptible natural seed gives them common features, such as nutrition, growth, decay and death. Decay and death precede the fruitfulness, the resurrection, and the incorruptibility, as Jesus and the Apostles teach us.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)

You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.” (1Cor. 15:36-38)

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1Cor. 15:42-44)


The origin of the living organisms


The seeded living organisms come from the Waters and the dry land (Earth). According to the book of Genesis, the Earth was covered with Waters, and it was seen (it became visible) without moving itself, when the Waters were violently dragged and gathered together forming the seas on the Third day of creation.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Gen.1:9-10)

From the Psalms, we learn that the theories about the "end of the world" and the end of history are not supported by the Bible, because the Earth (the dry land) will not be shaken for ever and ever, and the waters will never return and cover it as before.

He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep (deep sea) as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.” (Ps. 104:5-9)

Also, in the book of Genesis, we read that God on the Third day created the grass, the plants and the trees, and "God saw that it was good."

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.” (Gen. 1:11)

On the Fifth day, God created the fish, the sea mammals and the birds that fly in the sky, and "God blessed them."

And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life, and winged creatures flying above the earth in the firmament of heaven, and it was so. And God made great whales, and every living reptile, which the waters brought forth according to their kinds, and every creature that flies with wings according to its kind, and God saw that they were good. And God blessed them saying, Increase and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the creatures that fly be multiplied on the earth.” (Gen. 1:20-22, LXX)

On the Sixth day, God created the animals of the earth, the reptiles and the beasts, and "God saw that it was good."

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind, quadrupeds and reptiles and wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and it was so. And God made the wild beasts of the earth according to their kind, and cattle according to their kind, and all the reptiles of the earth according to their kind, and God saw that they were good.” (Gen. 1:24-25)

God created the handmade man from the earth ("Your hands made me and formed me") on the sixth day as well. Male and female He created them and blessed them by letting them know that they would rule over all of the natural creation, without making a gender exception. So, the earthly Adam and his earthly woman that was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh received blessings from their Maker concerning the days of their earthly life.


And God said, Let us make man according to our image and likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the flying creatures of heaven, and over the cattle and all the earth, and over all the reptiles that creep on the earth. And God made man, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them. And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the seas and flying creatures of heaven, and all the cattle and all the earth, and all the reptiles that creep on the earth.” (Gen. 1:26-28)


God's purpose for the first man from earth

Contrary to the other "living beings" which had the breath of life in them (Gen. 7:15), God revealed His good intention for man ("Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"), which he performed in two phases, thus showing that His intention was promising. In order for God's intention to be fulfilled and for the earthly man to become a "partaker of the Divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), he had to first go through the stage of decay and lack of immortality, and in the process to be born spiritual, incorruptible and immortal from an incorruptible seed, which is the Living Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).

In the first phase of "His intention," God created with his "hands" and with special care the first male man from the dust of the ground and animated him himself by breathing into his face the Breath of Life. Thus, the earthly man became a "living soul", that is, a "living being," who was a pattern of the future spiritual "in-Christ" man (Rom. 5:14), who would fulfill God's intention to "make man in our image, after our likeness."

Therefore, the first earthly Adam (= man), as Paul wrote, was natural and not spiritual ("But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual"). In the new and endless "in-Christ" century of the New Testament where regeneration (palingenesia) took place (Titus 3:5), the old one, the external earthly natural man, continues as before to wear out and finally dies, while the new one, the inner one, the spiritual man, is renewed in knowledge daily after the image of the one that created him.


Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. “(2Cor. 4:16)

Lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman: but Christ is all, and in all.” (2Cor. 3:9-10)

Continuing the first phase, God made Adam's female wife by using material from Adam's side (Gen. 2:21-25), blessed their sexual union and their reproduction with natural, corruptible seed, and gave the first couple a special typology that was the marriage of Jesus and the Church.

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the twain shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church.” (Eph. 5:31-32, Gen.2:24)

The apostle Paul's reference in 1 Corinthians 15:45 ("The first man Adam was made a living soul") refutes the ancient Gnostic belief in the existence of a pre-Adam man cultivated even today among the religious circles that embrace the apocryphal Gnostic texts. It also refutes the also-ancient mythological dualistic belief that God made man "from a sensible and earthly body and from a mental and immortal soul" which concludes that the mortal sensible body is the vehicle or tomb ("sima" in ancient Greek) of the mental and immortal soul.


Taking care of the earthly man, God set the "Law of Nature" before creating him.

Before the creation of the earthly man, God created the appropriate natural environment where the first man, for his benefit, had to "live in accordance with nature," that is, to live without interfering or equalizing with nature, to live in harmony with the unchanging "laws of nature," to develop, multiply and practice his activities. So, from the beginning, man was created under a "law" and had to live according to it, "in accordance with nature," and not "in discordance with nature."

God's main concern for man (as well as for the other living organisms) was to meet his nutritional needs through the products of the earth, to provide him with nutrients that were (and still are) essential ingredients for his survival throughout his life.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” (Gen. 1:29-30)

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth” (Ps. 104:14)

But this "nutriment" from the earth is described by Jesus as dead; it does not have the power to give eternal life.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:27)

The concern of the Creator God, who knew that the creation of the first man was from dust, removes any theological view of his "incorruptibility" and biological "eternity." Simply, if God did not take care of his food, or if the earthly man neglected it, he would die, as is the case today. The biological "eternity" of man was later ruled out by Jesus as well, because when he said "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47), the believers continued to die biologically, as they do today. "Eternity" is inherited by the spiritual children of the promise who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)

The use of the term "Seed" in a metaphorical sense

Often in the Hebrew Bible, the term "seed" is used to denote natural offspring, children. God entrusted Noah with the responsibility of preserving the offspring of animals.

And of the clean cattle take in to thee sevens, male and female, and of the unclean cattle pairs male and female. And of clean flying creatures of the sky sevens, male and female, and of all unclean flying creatures pairs, male and female, to maintain seed on all the earth.” (Gen. 7:2-3, LXX)

God made a covenant with Noah and his sons and their descendants.

And behold I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you,” (Gen. 9:9, LXX)

God made a covenant with the biological descendants of Abram.

For all the land which thou seest, I will give it to thee and to thy seed for ever.” (Gen. 13:15, LXX)

God made a promise to the seed of Abram that he had sown in Hagar.

And the angel of the Lord said to her, I will surely multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said to her, Behold thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ismael, for the Lord hath hearkened to thy humiliation.” (Gen. 16:10-11, LXX)

The dominant symbolic meaning of the term "Seed" in the Bible is "the Word of God, the incorruptible seed," "the Word of the Kingdom" and "the Kingdom of Heaven."


“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” (Luk. 8:11)

Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.” (Mat. 13:18)

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” (1Pet. 1:23)

“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Mat. 13:21)

Another symbolic meaning is that of the "good seed”, which is the works of the righteous (the fruit of the righteous is life), and of the "evil seed”, which is the works of the impious (the fruit of the impious is loss).

Sow to yourselves for righteousness, gather in for the fruit of life: light ye for yourselves the light of knowledge; seek the Lord till the fruits of righteousness come upon you.” (Hos. 10:12, LXX)

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2Cor. 9:10)

An ungodly man performs unrighteous works: but the seed of the righteous is a reward of truth.” (Prov. 11:18)

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

The "Seed" of the Serpent and the "Seed" of the Woman

And I will put enmity between thee (the Serpent) and the woman and between thy seed and her seed, he shall watch against thy head, and thou shalt watch against his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

The term "Seed" also refers to offspring who have spiritual "fathers" as a model of conduct, or refers to offspring who are bearers of a spiritual promise.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.” (John 8:44)

Paul, to the Barjesus “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10)

Serpents! Brood of vipers! How shall you escape from the condemnation of hell gehenna?” (Mat. 23:33, EMTV)

For the Lord loueth iudgement, and forsaketh not his Saints, they are preserued for euer: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” (Ps. 37:28, KJV 1611)

The term "Seed" acquires special significance in the promise of life to "Abraham, the Father of faith," as well as in the fulfillment of the promise, which is Christ, and to those who are "in Christ", who are the blessed seed of God.

Ye are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Acts 3:25)

Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16)

Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed. (Rom. 9:7-8, ASV)

And, as Isaiah hath said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We had become as Sodom, and had been made like unto Gomorrah.” (Rom. 9:29)

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring in the midst of peoples: every one that sees them shall take notice of them, that they are a seed blessed of God;” (Is. 61:9, LXX)

So, the serpent's seed was not a biological one; the Devil does not give birth to biological humans. But the impious ones who have His spirit and do His works are collectively described as the "seed of the Serpent."

Likewise, the "seed of the Woman" who symbolized the Church of Christ, the Bride (Eph. 5:31-2), was not a biological seed, as various theologians claim in order to spread their Gnostic belief that Christ had an earthly body that got it from Mary, denying that the heavenly man Jesus was the Son of God born of the Holy Spirit. "The blessed seed of God," the collective (many members) body of Christ, which is His Church (Eph. 1:23) and which had received power to tread over all the power of Satan (Luke 10:18-20), is described as the seed of the Woman.

So, the members of the Church, the Woman / Bride of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9), were the seed of the promise, the "seed of the Woman," and were persecuted by the Jews who were impious, were opposed to Christ, and were the "seed of the Serpent." Just as Amalek killed the weak and exhausted who were left behind when Israel came out of Egypt, so the "serpent's seed" cut off from the body of Christ those who had fallen away from the faith and returned to the Law.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed”. (Heb. 10:39)

Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.” (Gal. 5:4)

Jesus, consoling His Jewish disciples for the Sorrow and persecution they would receive from "the serpent's seed," likened them to a woman ready to give birth and reminded them of the joy that awaited them at His impending Second coming. (See 2 Thess. 1:1-12)

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” (John 16:20-21)

And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus:” (Rev. 12:17, ERV)

The Tree of Life and the command of Paradise

And the LORD God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Gen. 2:8)

After the creation of the first earthly Man, God planted a paradise (a garden) in the region of Eden and placed him there. In addition, at a later time, he made trees grow that were pleasant to the sight, with delicious fruits, and in a privileged position, in the middle of the garden, he made two other trees grow, the "Tree of Life" and the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil," which, like the Law of Moses, had a pedagogical character (Gen. 2:8-9).

So that the law hath been our tutor to bring us unto Christ (the eternal life), that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24)

Then, God, like a transmitter, instructed the first man, the receiver, to work the garden and protect it from any external threat, thus revealing the already existence of "evil" and the knowledge of evil. He even ordered him by saying:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)

So, the first, earthly man became the recipient of a carnal "option," (you may eat - you shall not eat) which was the primary form of the "Law," and also became accountable for his choice. The instruction had to do with "nutriment," and therefore with a carnal ordinance "until the time of reformation" (Heb. 9:10). The "Tree of Life" in the Garden of Eden was promising and typological -it reappears in the book of Revelation- and revealed the non-existence of the biological eternity of the first Adam. If Adam kept the command and avoided eating what God forbade, he would receive the right to "eat" from the "Tree of Life" as a reward for his obedience.

"For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"

The day of the transgression of the first Adam who ate from the forbidden "Tree" was not the day of his biological death. Adam lived all the days of his biological life which were three hundred and forty-one thousand two hundred and seventy-five (341,275) days and then his normal death occurred (Gen. 5:5). During this time, he ate, slept, worked and gave birth to earthly sons and daughters, which means that he was in excellent health.

The day of the transgression of the first Adam was a day of disobedience at the cost of his exclusion from the joy and pleasure of living in the paradise of Eden, and from the power he had to eat from the "Tree of Life," so that he would receive the promise of eternity, which would be the result of his obedience. It was the day that his earthly life changed radically. Adam lost the privilege of God's presence and found himself working the land from which he was taken outside the paradise.

“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:22-24)

For Adam, the road to the "Tree of Life" was temporarily cut off and until the birth of Christ, the hope of eternal life was not active (was dead), which would not be biological anyway (there is not biological immortality). In the course of history, those who do not have Christ, the Life, cannot eat from "the tree of life" and are punished with eternal severance from Immortality.”



I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (1Cor. 15:50)


Through the disobedience of the one man, Adam "the many were made sinners". And since then, God has seen the transgressors and living biological humans, with whom he had made a covenant, as with the first Adam, as dead since they had no part in Immortality.


And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Mat. 8:22)

So, the disobedience of the earthly Adam did not bring about his biological death, which was a given, but the death of the promise of eternal life. No one received biological eternity, not even those who were biologically resurrected by Jesus and the Apostles in the narrative of the New Testament, such as Lazarus, the daughter of the synagogue leader Jairus, the son of the widow of Nain, the bodies of the sleeping saints (Matt. 27:52), Eutychus and Tabitha in Joppa. Even in the narrative of the Old Testament we have resurrections of biological bodies, such as the son of the widow in Zarephath of Sidon, the Son of Shunammite and the unknown earthly man buried in the tomb of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21). None of them gained biological eternity, because if they did, everyone would know them as people who are thousands of years old.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death (=cut off from eternal life), or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16)

Symbolic meanings of the "Tree of Life"

Wisdom, good will and the fruit of the righteous person are typologically described as a "Tree of Life."

(Wisdom) She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.” (Prov. 3:18)

Better is he that begins to help heartily, than he that promises and leads [another] to hope: for a good desire is a tree of life.” (Prov. 13:12, LXX)

Out of the fruit of righteousness grows a tree of life; but the souls of transgressors are cut off before their time.” (Prov. 11:30)

Also, the leaves of the "Tree of Life" are for the healing of the nations.

Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2)

Conclusion

The history of the earthly protoplasts teaches us that there has never been and will never be a biological eternity and that immortality is a promise given to those who obey Christ. And the power to eat from the "Tree of Life" does not belong to the biological natural people, but to the spiritual children of the promise born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, the children of God "who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God," and who do His will. This seed is the new kind of men, the New Creation, which fulfills the intention of God to "make man in our image, after our likeness." This seed will inherit immortality and will bear the image of the heavenly man Jesus (1Cor. 15:49).

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:27)

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” (Rev. 22:14)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7)

Jesus bless you!!!







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