TREES AND STARS IN THE GARDEN OF YAHWEH
by Pastor Jeromy John Visser
Take your Bibles this evening and turn with me to the book of Ezekiel, chapter 31, we're going to begin reading with verse 3. "Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him (Ezekiel 31:3-9)."
I'd like to cover one more verse right now before I get to tonight's topic. In the book of Isaiah we also read "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)."
As many of you might be aware, both of these particular verses are prophetical teachings about Satan, the enemy of Christians around the world. In tonight's lecture I'd like to specifically focus on the themes of 'trees' and 'stars' when dealing with the Bible's teachings about angels and demons and more specifically -- I intend to shed a little more detail on the creation account by reading several verses from the scriptural account in chronological order.
(Trees In Scripture:)
Sadly, the topic of trees is an area of the Bible that most modern-day preachers tend to neglect and without this particular knowledge their followers can never understand "the original sin." More examples of how trees are used in a figurative sense to describe people or bloodlines are scattered throughout scripture like this verse found in Jeremiah 11:19 where is states "Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered." In Matthew 3:10 we also read "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Most of Christendom has even heard Christ's teachings on this same topic when dealing with mankind in Matthew 7:17 where He proclaimed "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." It's very obvious that trees are symbolic of people, both good and bad. At this point I think I should expand on this term 'fruit.'
In Genesis 3:1-3, Satan called 'serpent' (Revelation 12:9) or the 'enchanter' says to Eve "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Eve replies "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Interesting of note here is the word 'fruit' which stems from the Hebrew word perîy (pronounced per-ee') and according to Strong's Concordance it means "to bear fruit, grow or increase." Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions explains the word much more specifically with the straight-forward definition of "fruit, offspring, children, progeny (of the womb)."
My intention is really not to expand upon what happened in the Garden of Eden by explaining the word 'touch' means "to lie with" or 'eat' and 'ate' means "to partake." The fact of the matter is the account is simple and hopefully what I've stated so far sheds light on why "The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked" and why Seth (whom the future Messiah would eventually spring from and name means 'substitute') is listed in Adam's genealogy and not Cain (Genesis 5:3). A word to the wise should be sufficient. My intention is more to prove that Satan and several other 'trees' were in the Garden of Yahweh and they were all people. Keep in mind that Satan's number "is the number of a man (Revelation 13:18)" or as a fallen angel is the "perfect man."
(Stars In Scripture:)
Stars are an entirely different matter altogether and usually represent angelic beings. In Genesis 1:16 we read "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also." Yahweh also set these up as "signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years (Genesis 1:14)" and we find in Psalms 19:1 that "the firmament sheweth his handywork." Look for an upcoming sermon addressing the separate topics of astrology and astronomy in the Bible.
I want to center in on a few key verses right now to prove my point. Turn with me if you will to the book of Job, Chapter 38 and read with me verses 5 through 7. Yahweh himself asks Job "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Catch the part about 'morning stars' being 'the sons of God' for now.
Now turn with me over to Revelation, chapter 22. In verse 16 Jesus states "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Indeed many of you are familiar with this passage that not only proves our Savior was a direct descendent of David on earth but the morning star.
Now for the clincher -- turn back to Isaiah 14 and read again verse 12: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" This verse is the only place in the Bible where the name Lucifer is mentioned and one might be surprised to discover that the very word itself means "the morning star (Strongs #1966)." More specifically "the early star" as opposed who Jesus who is to come after Satan's reign during the end of time as we can prove in 2nd Thessalonians, Chapter 2. Read starting with verse 3 it says "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." This concept is also taught by Jesus himself in the parable of the tares and the wheat. I'll be addressing the fallacy of the pre-tribulation rapture in a future message as well.
Here's a few things to think about: "They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera (Judges 5:20)." Israel was promised to increase "like the stars of the heavens (1 Chronicles 27:23)" and the goat "waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them (Daniel 8:10)." Indeed, I've only begun to scratch the surface on this concept but hopefully I've given you enough to think on for the time being and helped to shed a bit more light on Matthew 24:29 that reads "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Jesus even further drives this point home when he says "as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:37)" while addressing the concept of fallen angels during the end times.
(Scripture In Order:)
What I'd like to do now is read a bit of the creation account in chronological order and hope to make a bit more sense of what happened and caused Satan's fall. Keep in mind that the Word of Yahweh teaches us "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people (Isaiah 28:10-11)." This aspect is beautifully apparent in the teachings of Jesus Christ who had the ability to speak to His chosen elect and His serpent enemy on numerous levels by saying the same exact sentence to a multitude.
We'll begin right at the beginning of the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 it reads "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Notice the period? From here there's an extremely large gap of time known as "the war in Heaven" where angelic beings (or 'stars') were active. During this time Satan rebels against Yahweh and is cast to earth. Between verse 1 and 2 we could insert a majority of the verses I've already quoted but Revelation 12:7-9 seems to fit best:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
In the next verse we read "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Here we have to consult the Strong's Concordance for the meaning of the word 'was' translated from the Hebrew word hâyâh (#H1961). This word (pronounced haw-yaw') literally means "become or come to pass" proving that the world then "became without form, and void" and further explains what "darkness" was upon the face of the deep. Knowledge of this word also should tell you who the 'light' is created next and why later man was instructed to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." To replenish is to reestablish or rebuild something that had obviously previously existed, in this case -- the earth.
Hopefully you can understand now why 'the serpent' was in the Garden of Yahweh to tempt Eve and attack the future seed-line of Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 we read "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Odd thing about this verse is the word beguiled is taken from the Greek exapataō which plainly means "wholly (sexually) seduced." Look it up.
Ponder another piece of scripture as well -- "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose (Genesis 6:1-2)." It's from these unholy angel and human relations that later spread "giants" (or nâphal) and lead to Yahweh's choosing Noah because he was "perfect in his generations (Genesis 6:9)." The word 'generations' used here literally means "descent, family or pedigree (Strong's #H8435)."
Since we're back on the topic of Adam, Eve and Satan introducing sin into the world, I think we should expand on how exactly 'the accuser' came into existence, who created him and what he looks like according to Biblical description. You might just be surprised at the outcome.
(God Creates Satan:)
Without a doubt Satan was created by Yahweh because the scripture teaches us He "maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire (Psalm 104:4)." Not only that, Ezekiel 28:13-15 says this about Satan -- "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Fatefully, a lot of false prophets teach that Lucifer is a red-suited goat with a beard carrying a pitchfork while ignoring the plain teachings of scripture that state he was a perfect and beautiful "anointed cherub" for Yahweh. Plainly put, Lucifer as a 'star of Yahweh' was "top angel" until he rebelled and after his harsh rebuke was renamed śâṭân (pronounced saw-tawn') which literally means "opponent or adversary (Strong's #H7854)."
We've covered Ezekiel 31 which says no "tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty" and Ezekiel 28 that teaches Satan was the "anointed cherub that covereth." Covereth what? Yahweh's Law. The ark of the covenant had representations of two "cherubs that covereth" and Lucifer is obviously one of them. To the best of my knowledge the opposite cherub isn't stated in scripture but educated thought tends to learn towards Michael the archangel.
Satan's first trick was to twist Yahweh's commandments when he said "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5)." What Yahweh had really said was "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 (Genesis 2:16-17)." Satan's twisting of scripture becomes even more apparent when dealing with the "temptation" of Christ. Satan tells Jesus "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." to which he's answered "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." What did Jesus do? Corrected twisted scripture.
Even so, Satan still continues by saying "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (Matthew 4:6)." The devil specifically twisted a passage found in Psalm 91:11-12 which really reads "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." Notice how he left out the clause "to keep thee in all thy ways?" This must be why Jesus answered him by saying "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Who was being tempted again?
My intention with this particular study is to inspire you to open your Bibles and get your study tools to check out what I'm saying. This rule should apply throughout your entire Christian walk by studying "to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Titus 2:15)." That's a commandment. I also pray you will learn that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20)."
We've covered a lot of passages this evening and I hope that this message has been a blessing to you. This Sunday's topic will be Jesus, Yahweh or Not? so don't miss that if you're in need of scriptures proving Jesus Christ was Yahweh -- there's hundreds of them! In fact, we covered one this evening just a few moments ago.
There are many deeper truths in Yahweh's Word and each Christian will digest his portion whether it be "milk or meat (Hebrews 5:12)." I hope that if there are subjects in tonight's sermon that are still shady to you that you'll search out the matter yourselves or think on them for awhile. Pray to Yahweh for His guidance and ask for understanding in this regard. Finally, my personal prayer is that Jesus gets honored through this teaching and uses it in His perfect will here on earth. War for Christ! Amen.
[ Stars and Trees In The Garden of Yahweh ]
[ Date: Wednesday, February
(Last Page Update: March 28, 2010)
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