Then God took this man whom He had created and set him before two trees. Was not this a strange thing to do? I would have thought God would take Adam and talk with him in lecture after lecture, training him in how to behave. He would explain that Eve was his counterpart, that Adam must love her, that she would be the mother of his children, and that Adam must be the head. Then God should have taken Eve and spent time to train her; she would need an even longer time because females always make trouble! If Genesis 2 had been written like this, I surely would have thought it was a wonderful chapter of the Holy Scriptures, written by God.
One tree was the tree of life. God did not explain what life was. Even today Bible scholars with doctoral degrees cannot explain the tree of life. Yet it is a simple name. The other tree was more complicated. It was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God did not explain what knowledge was, nor what good and evil were. He simply said that all the trees in the garden were good for them to eat. They could partake of them freely. Only one tree was an exception. He warned them that if they ate of that tree, they would die. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil would bring death. Notice the four words related to this tree: knowledge, good, evil, death. These four words stand in contrast to the one word: life.
What is the point of these two trees? Everything else is secondary in God’s eyes. The only thing which is crucial is that man eat of the proper tree, the tree of life.
From the rest of the Scriptures we know that the tree of life is Christ as the embodiment of God. In the last book the Lord promised the overcomers in the church that He would give them to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7). For eternity the tree of life will be in the New Jerusalem to feed and satisfy God’s redeemed people (Rev. 22:2). The other tree will be done away with; its end will be the lake of fire.
These verses strongly indicate that God’s intention was that the man whom He had created according to Himself would take of the tree of life. To eat of the tree of life means to take God in as nourishment. We know this because the Lord Jesus told people that He Himself was a tree, the vine tree, and also that He was the bread to be eaten (John 15:1; 6:57-58). “He who eats Me shall also live because of Me.” To eat is to take in what can be digested and can provide nourishment by being assimilated into the cells to become their constituents. The term “to eat Jesus” is not found in Christianity’s dictionary. Some think it is too crude a way of speaking. Yet in the verse we have just quoted, the Lord Himself speaks this way (see also John 6:50-56). In the typology of the Old Testament there is the manna, which typifies Christ as food.
God’s intention is to plant Himself into you as the tree of life. This planting is grafting. This thought is implied in Romans 6:5. Has God been planted in you? Are you a garden with God as a dear little plant growing in you? Is this plant, called the tree of life, growing in you? Are you growing, or is He growing? May God be merciful to you and grace you, that you may grow together with Him and that He may grow together with you!
Colossians 2:19 says that we should grow with the growth of God. As God is growing in us, we must grow with Him. If we are growing by ourselves, improving ourselves so that we are more patient, humble, or loving, we may be disciples of Plato or Confucius, but we are not disciples of Christ. A disciple of Christ, a Christian, must be growing together with God. Such a tree has been planted into us.
When we come to the second tree, we find Satan’s counterplot. Satan seeks to act ahead of God. When he finds out what God intends, he tries to step in and act first. God’s intention was to plant Himself in man. God, however, does not act in haste. It is not that He is slow or patient; the right word is steady. Thus He did not plant Himself in man immediately.
It is strange that after creating man, God waited. He did not enter Adam right away. This gave Satan an opportunity. In Genesis 3 the subtle one came. He spoke to the woman, not to the man. Sisters, Satan’s way is to tempt you to open your mouth. “Hath God said…?” A question mark is in the shape of a snake. Eve should not have answered. She should have gone to her husband and let him answer. Instead, she responded to the serpent’s question. By opening up, she was ensnared and ate of the tree of knowledge with Adam. The evil one thus planted himself in mankind.
After Satan got into man, God came. Adam’s satanic nature came forth. Instead of confessing his sin, he blamed God. “The woman whom thou gavest” was the cause of the trouble. If God had not given him a wife, there would have been no problem. When God then spoke to Eve, she did not take the blame either. “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (3:13). God, she implied, allowed the serpent to be there. This way of talking is from the satanic nature. Even though Adam and Eve were new on the earth, from that time on they were old. They became the old man. In the second generation Cain hated his brother and killed him. Throughout the Bible two lines can be seen. One is of the tree of life; the other, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
(God's Eternal Intention and Satan's Counterplot, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)