Posted in Torah, Wandering Mind

Righteousness by Faith is the oldest (good) news

While I was writing this, I ended up separating a portion of this into another post, Dizzy Faith. I dont know why or how, but the Wandering Mind thing hit me….

Faith was designed into the Garden

Just as a parent parses out knowledge and information to a child, YHVH leads us by Wisdom, within the context of Relationship and Revelation. At least that is my take on it. The context for this is shown in an account from the Garden in Eden:

[Gen 3:8 NKJV] 8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Ive had a theory and interpretation of this for years, and it is more ind epth than I cn get into. But the basic idea in this application is that at a certain point of the day, perhaps regularly, YHVH walked around the garden wherein YHVH had placed Mankind. Both Adam and Havah were there. And YHVH called out to them.

This to me implies a lot of things, mostly relationship. There is a familiarity between mankind and YHVH. There is a connection, dialog. YHVH obviously know what is going on, so YHWH is in fact teaching mankind. I would even say shepherding, guiding towards a goal. Parenting comes to mind.

It is in this context that I began to think about faith. And many things in our life, parenting, teaching, correcting, leading etc… all work within the framework of the intedned party to have faith. Not just belief, but actual conviction working through action.

Parenting Children

Children often desire immediate remedy to whatever state they find themselves in. Especially when they perceive themselves to have a need or a lack. Many times they want information, or knowledge. It gives them a sense of stability, or even mastery of something that is currently keeping them in a sense of instability.

In some cases it is excitement:

Parent: “Guess where we are going tomorrow? It is going to be so fun!”

Child: “Where? Tell me!”

Parent: “Just trust me, you are going to LOVE IT!”

Child then pesters Parent incessantly.

In some cases, it is trust oriented

Child: “I need X (food, opportunity, object, help, support etc..)”

Parent: “Ill help you with that soon”

Child: “I need X NOW!!!”

Parent: “It is ok, don’t worry, Ill help you. You are actually fine, even though you don’t feel like it. Trust me, you are ok and Ill take care of it”

The temptation is to have immediate satisfaction of desire. The sign of immaturity is the inability to defer gratification. It is perfectly appropriate for a 2 or 3 year old to be “immature”. There are graduated steps of maturity and ability. We expect people to progress through stages and appropriate more ability to defer immediate gratification and resolution to unknowns.

There are many facets of this idea. From fear to excitement, to something new, or something boring. But Im beginning to see that a huge goal of parenting is to guide a child into an ability to trust us, and learn and develop themselves within that process so that they are successful in navigating the unknowns and emerging as authentic representations of their true selves. As they gain mastery and comprehension over themselves, and their interactions with others and the creation, they are able to DO what they BELIEVE.

Faith is Trust Matured

Faith is the ability to trust while the experience of the desire/need is not yet experienced. By faith Abraham was considered righteous.

Abraham was directed to offer his only son over to death. This was not unknown in Abrahams experience. People did this to their gods. YHVH had not given torah/instructions about forbidding child sacrifice. But at the point of this directive, Abraham believed that even if he did what Yahweh directed, the promise Yahweh had made about children and descendants would be accomplished by Yahwehs own power. All Abraham had to do was obey and let Yahweh deliver on Yahweh’s own promises. There was a level of confidence Abraham had that places his actions (not some ethereal mental concept) as the model for  everyone.

The Real Kinder(Garden)

Was YHVH always training creation in righteousness that comes from faith? Was the garden in Eden the perfect environment to walk mankind through a series of experiences, perhaps on a daily basis, to progressively teach them the nature and character of YHWH? If so, then was the alternative taking control ourselves of knowledge, information, or some other kind of resolution to a felt need, interest, stimulus or similar instinct? Is there an “appetite” (nephesh?) within mankind that can go beyond what is provided and seek out satisfaction some other way?

Was the eating from the knowledge tree the result of coveting information and understanding of how things work, and being able to avoid walking in daily dependence on relational based revelation? Was Havah encouraged to take control herself over the God ordained and God paced process of development and training in righteousness and have access to knowledge without having to be dependent on Yah?

It appears that way to me….

Climbing over the wall instead of using the gate

By eating of the Knowledge Tree, Havah and Adam circumvented the matrix which allowed YHVH to deliver knowledge via relationship (daily “walking” in the cool of the day?). They were introduced to an alternative (strange, foreign, secret, gnostic?) path. There was something awakened in them (before its time), and once awake, began to rule. They coveted knowledge, and wanted it for themselves. The crafty, shining, most naked one of all, the serpent (nechash) informed mankind that there was far more than what Yah was delivering. In fact, Yah was intentionally holding out on them. It wasn’t that Yah didn’t know certain things, it was that Yah knew FULL WELL and was refusing to share it. The serpent seemed to have first hand knowledge about this. The implication is, and we learn more about this later in scripture, that Yah had withheld these things from the serpent as well!

I know that classic christian thought is that this serpent was “Satan”, a personal and malevolent being, most probably a “fallen angel”. I have heard jewish perspectives that this was simply a snake, and this was just a snake being a snake. They talked with people, and it wasnt sin for a snake to desire these things, but it was wrong for mankind.

I tend to think it was a unique spiritual being, who was the embodiment of what the term “Satan” is, an adversary. There are many “satans”, from actual personal beings to worldwide evil anti Yah mindsets and agendas. Apparently in Israel, prosecuting attorneys are actually called “Satans”.

Regardless of the context one might have for the “satan”, it is the action of mankind that resulted in its own problem. It may have been encouraged, or catalyzed, but it was the action, not the thought, that was the downfall.

It was the DOING of the eating or the fruit from the Knowledge Tree that was wrong. Whatever the motives. But the motives themselves are easily understood as lack of Faith (conviction, belief, assurance, trust) in the words Yah gave.

The Results

Adam had to return back to where Adam came from (the dirt outside the Garden). The pattern then repeats itself with the Hebrew children. They had to wander the desert (the dirt) and learn how to walk in dependence on Yahwehs provision. Every time they desired to take things into their own hands, the consequences were essentially death. Either by their enemies, Elohim’s judgements, or by the loss of valuable property in sacrifices.

The result of the covetous action of eating from the knowledge tree resulted in death. And now with more knowledge than YAH parsed out at any given time, mankind had awareness of possibilities and options that bring fear, anxiety or apprehension. The desire to appease the initial response can become so great that humans take actions about options or possibilities without WISDOM directing the flow, quality, and truth of the scenario. By acting outside of, or parallel to, YHWH they act outside of covenant relationship. They use their strength, mind, might, in reality their SELF to LOVE THEMSELVES.

As well, people see opportunities for their desires without understanding the broader impact to anyone or anything else. By taking action on these desires without the guidance of WISDOM, they end up with results at someone or something else’s expense. They essentially forgo LOVING THEIR NEIGHBOR.

This all stems from their lack of Loving YHVH with all their might, soul, strength, mind etc… Loving Yahweh is defined as obeying Yahweh’s commands. It isnt thinking right, it is DOING them. In fact, study the idea of Guarding (Shamar). We are told to guard the commands of Yah. Mankind was told to guard the garden. Learning from Yah, and then guarding what Yah said.

Faith in the Garden

If the thesis is in the right direction, then YHVH was sustaining mankind while teaching them the way things work, how to trust, how to be righteous. As they learned, they were to guard what was told them. Watch over it. tend to it, keep it, treasure etc… Not just the command itself, but the actual outworking of it. For instance, Im not supposed to shamar a Torah Scroll. Im supposed to shamar the instructions of it. it is not a conceptual idea, but a reality.

By circumventing this trust and response to Yahweh, death came. More on that later. A lack of Life is the result of not DOING the instructions.

Posted in Creation, Torah, Wandering Mind

The Tree of Life was always good eating

There is no indication that Adam (mankind) was not eating of the Life Tree. Perhaps daily during the “cool of the day”? Both Adam and Havah were permitted to eat of ANY tree in the garden except for the Knowledge Tree. If there was 2 main trees in the middle of the garden (does it say that?), one you could eat and one you couldn’t, how is it possible that they didn’t eat of it? If YHVH drew attention to them both over and above any others (at least that is what we read in scripture) I would certainly go check them out.

Yah says “in the day you eat of the Knowledge Tree you will die”, but they don’t actually die. I have heard people teach all around this. Is there another method of death? In a fantastic podcast, Mirimam Brand discusses how the Masoretes attempted to reconcile things and added some punctuation in this passage. The snake uses a classic “forked tongue” in saying “Undying one you will die“. The word “death“, (muwth) is simply repeated here, but in context clearly the serpent is attempting to get Havah (and therefore mankind) to eat this.

Is there also a concept that “Existing you are not Alive”?

Created for Death?

There are numerous animals and processes created in creation that have either a direct or indirect role in dealing with death, dead things, or in some way recycling. Predators, as well as scavengers exists and we believe Yahweh created everything. Perhaps predators are/were a distortion of the original creation, but the massive amount of microbiological, insects, small animals, birds and other living creatures cannot be accidental. Everything from a micro level to a macro in creation has a clear and inherent structure for recycling and conversion of matter and energy.

Is it possible death itself is designed into creation? That death in original context is the ending of the purely physical, whereas the death talked about in the Garden is talking about the disconnection from Yah?

Living Soul vs Existing Soul

We see in the creation story that Elohim breathed into Adamah the “neshamah“, and then “Adam” (which is all mankind) became a LIVING SOUL. All the previous animals appear to already have a soul (nephesh). But Adam experienced a totally different and unique (to the creation account so far) element. Now mankind (Adamah) was alive, whereas before, the status was different.

So if this “neshamah” is the difference, and Adam was already existing prior to the infusion of “the neshamah”, existence is not the same thing as “being alive”. Animals were existing, some possibly human like in form and function. But once Yah breathed the neshamah into a specific one, the bible begins the story and a separation occurs.

Regardless of the path creation took, the Life Tree could possibly be the element that would sustain that “Living Soul” breath. The breath was a spark, the fruit was the sustaining resource. One was the start, the other was the maintenance. One was involuntary, the other was the voluntary responsibility of mankind.

Would we then would say death is the removal or absence of the “neshamah”? Is it a return to the appetite driven, instinctual existence that animals have? When you combine that existence with the toolset and unique characteristics of humankind, you have a dominant species that will consume everything else including each other.

Life Tree

It is only after eating the Knowledge Tree fruit, that Elohim decides that Adam and Havah cannot be allowed to eat from the Life Tree. In fact, the Creator puts guards (watchers?) at the gates to the garden to ensure mankind is unable to access the Life Tree. Why? Yah says this stops Adam from coming into the garden and eating from it and existing in a state of being “like us” permanently. This doesn’t mean mankind would simply eat of it one time. There is no indication of this previously. Perhaps it was the accessibility to the Life Tree that would maintain mankind, and they would be stuck in some kind of negative consequence.

And this might actually be the death Yahweh is speaking about.

Is there simply a regenerative or restorative context to the Life Tree? Was eating Life fruit it a regular event, or a periodic event in response to specific actions?

If there is a regenerative process of the Life Tree it would totally make sense that death itself would result from not having access to the Life Tree. If mankind was allowed to eat from the Life Tree, was it the Life Tree that was keeping mankind alive forever?

  • If the context for eating Life Fruit was daily, then this lends itself to the idea of “Daily Bread”, Manna, and other concepts later developed within scripture as a Wheel within a Wheel.
  • If the context is Yah leading Adam (all mankind here) to the Tree of Life when they have “missed the mark”, it sets the stage for the idea of repentance.

If the neshamah and the Life Tree are connected, then another idea could be that progressively the living part of mankind is eroding. The ability to be regenerated is removed, and entropy increases. Disorder increases. Sin increases. The consequences of sin increase. Mankind stops being a living soul, and reverts back to simply existing, driven by instinct and desire, and unaware of the transcendent God relationship.

We do see this as the story unfolds. All the way to the account of Noah, mankind progressively lives shorter and shorter, and awful things become the norm. Yah states that it is no longer going to work, and mankind (and all living land animals and birds) will be wiped out.

Access Restored

Later in the prophecies we see that the leaves of the Life Tree provide healing for the Nations… the peoples, MANKIND. Access to the Life Tree is conditional to being allowed access into the restored reality spoken about in the Prophets. In the Apostolic writings we see the Life Tree in the middle of the “New Jerusalem”, and access is via 1 of 12 gates around the city.

Is it possible that the guardians of the gates are removed, and the access to the Life Tree is once again the sustaining force, even for the resurrected bodies talked about in the Prophets?

Tree of Life in Messiah

Messiah Yeshua talks about eating “from” or “of” Him. It is a symbol, but in context, the Tree of Life becomes many different expressions and symbols all resolving into Yah’s provision for healing, salvation from death, and restoration to YHVH.