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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Judgment and Rewards, #18
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
The last view of Paradise enjoyed by Adam and Eve was that of the tree of life. The first view of Paradise that we enjoy, as we commence the program of restoration, is that of the tree of life. As we determine to repossess, through the grace of Christ, all that was lost in Eden, we come first to the tree of life.
The body and blood of Christ are our true life. But if we are not walking in victory we are not partaking each day of the Life of Christ. If we live in the Spirit of God, walking in victorious faith in Christ, eternal life is being built up in us. It is that eternal life that will be the "oil in our lamp" in the Day of Christ.
It is only the victorious, dedicated saint who is feeding continually on the eternal Life that Christ Is, passing from grace to grace and from glory to glory until he stands complete in all the will of God.
God never will permit any individual to partake of the tree of life until that person is gaining victory over sin and rebellion through means of the eternal life that already has been given to him.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden in the hope one day they would be redeemed. Had they partaken of immortality while still in sin they would have been hurled down to Tartarus where the fallen angels are. God in His everlasting mercy has placed us in mortal bodies in the hope one day all of the sin and rebellion will be cast from us. Then we can be given immortality in the body. Then we can eat of the tree of life without measure. We do not want immortality while we still are in rebellion against God's perfect will, for then we never could be redeemed.
As we follow the Lord diligently, taking up our cross, presenting our body a living sacrifice, the Holy Spirit teaches us how to gain victory over the sin and self-seeking that are in us. God brings judgment on the sin in us and casts it from us. Deliverance from sin is our reward for faithfully following the Lord. The glory and authority described in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation accrue to us naturally as, through the Lord Jesus, we are cleansed from the image of Satan and begin to take on the image of God.
We are not required to conquer sin and self-will in our own strength. Our task is to do, through the Holy Spirit, the things that the Apostles have written in the Scriptures. God's task (and delight) is to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, to conform us to His image, and to bring us into total union with Himself through Christ.
Feeding on the tree of life leads to the crown of life. The crown of life brings us to final victory over Satan and over the authority of the second death.
To be continued.