The Genesis Parable
Sowing and Reaping - Part 2
In our first video in this series, we discovered that the “garden of Eden” is symbolic of the divine principle of SOWING AND REAPING or SEEDTIME AND HARVEST which the apostle Paul defined in Galatians 6:7-10. We also considered the Parable of the Sower recorded in three different gospels and found that it accurately describes this principle of sowing and reaping and how the “seed” of the living Word of God is presented to all humankind with no exceptions.
In our second video in this series, we took a look at the two trees in the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. We found that the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” represents the Old Covenant and the law of God while the “tree of life” is symbolic of the spiritual nature of this law as Paul recorded in Romans 7:14. Though we see two trees in our Genesis parable, they are in essence but one tree. In our parable in Genesis, they are shown as two in order to emphasize the twofold results of soul and spirit. This is further confirmed by Hebrews 4:12 where we read, “For the word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE, sharper than any TWO-EDGED SWORD, piercing to the division of SOUL and of SPIRIT, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” As Hebrews shows, the Word of God is ONE SWORD with TWO EDGES, even as there is ONE GARDEN with TWO TREES, and both typify the LIVING and ACTIVE essence of the dynamic Word of our Maker.
In Luke 8:11, when explaining the Parable of the Sower, Jesus DID NOT SAY that the Word of God is LIKE a seed. Rather, He said, “Now the parable is this: The SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD.” In agreement, Hebrews states that His Word is LIVING and ACTIVE, just like a natural seed which may be sown into the ground. LIVING, because it contains the necessary elements within itself to produce after its kind, and ACTIVE, because once sown, the elements within ACTIVATE under the ground to eventually produce a fruit bearing tree.
So let me emphasize to you that the principle of sowing and reaping is a UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE; all encompassing in its purpose and intent. It is the most profound understanding that we can take from our Genesis parable and from the Bible itself. Whether we realize it or not, sowing and reaping takes place countless times throughout every single day of our existence, both in the natural and spiritual planes of our existence.
As an example in the spiritual realm, consider a thought. A thought IS A SEED, a LIVING and ACTIVE component capable of being “planted” in the heart and mind of another human being. As the Parable of the Sower indicates, in order for thought to be planted and germinate, it must be received into the “ground” or heart of a person. So, whatever the thought may be, it must be spoken and heard by someone else. I am inclined to think that most thoughts in a day reflect what Jesus called the “wayside” or “path” where the thought comes and goes, quickly forgotten due to other thoughts entering in.
So what about those thoughts that don’t just come and go, that stay within our mind for a time, perhaps for most of the day, or even a week or month? For example, say that someone comes to you with a GOOD IDEA that they feel would be beneficial; perhaps a change in how something is done. So, due to the passion behind what they feel and believe, they seek to convince you of this change. After some discussion, you agree with this idea and your passion is also aroused to a level that you are willing to give it your time and attention in order to implement it. Simply put, this is the cycle of sowing and reaping, where the IDEA or SEED has made its way into your heart, taken root, and now begins to rise up out of the “ground” of your heart, developing little by little until it forms the finished product. When this change goes into effect, you sow this same IDEA or SEED into the minds and hearts of others where everyone eventually “eats” from the same “tree.” What was rooted and formed in you and risen up out of the ground of your heart has matured to the place of “fruit” where the “seed” is found once again and the cycle is repeated in the hearts and minds of others. This is what is pictured in the Genesis parable and described by our Lord in the Parable of the Sower.
All that I have described reinforces the idea that we are CREATURES OF KNOWLEDGE, that knowledge is the core of our existence. Without it, we would not have what we have or experience today. Consider what Jesus told His disciples in the following passages from John, Chapter Four.
John 4:31-38 (NKJV)
31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."
Friends, within the parameters of sowing and reaping, there is the obvious “will” of the one who “sows.” And in verses 32 and 34, Jesus likened this to EATING FOOD. So it is that in our Genesis parable we read, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden YOU MAY FREELY EAT; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil YOU SHALL NOT EAT, for in the day that YOU EAT OF IT you shall surely die.’” Isn’t the Lord’s WILL evident in this command? In comparison, what did Jesus say? “I have FOOD TO EAT of which you do not know” and “MY FOOD IS TO DO THE WILL of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” So in Genesis, to “eat” the “fruit” of the tree equates to doing our own will or the will of God.
So what is the difference between Adam and Christ? The answer is OBEDIENCE, which again, equates to DOING THE WILL of our heavenly Father. For this reason Paul wrote in regard to Adam and Christ, “For as by one man’s DISOBEDIENCE many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s OBEDIENCE many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). John wrote, “Sin is the transgression of the law,” so to put it plainly, sin is disobedience.
For a long time now, I have believed that the parable of Adam and Eve illustrates every person’s entrance into this world; past, present, and future. Furthermore, I believe that Adam and Eve’s “fall” if you will, was predetermined by the Father. Yes, I said predetermined. God, who is all-knowing, was not surprised by Adam and Eve’s disobedience at all! If that were true, then He would certainly not be all-knowing. Think about it! Not only is God all-knowing, He knows BEFOREHAND. For this reason He is able to call those things that are not AS THOUGH THEY WERE; see Romans 4:17. This being true, God knew BEFORE He commanded Adam that Adam WOULD disobey. And why is this? Because the story of Adam and Eve IS NOT a story of tragedy or failure. Despite what tradition has told us, God’s purpose in Adam and Eve, and God’s purpose in you and me is given in parabolic form in Genesis so that we might better understand the mind and heart of our Creator and our own makeup. The Genesis parable is a story of DIVINE INTENTION, of DIVINE DESIGN, of the implementation of a DIVINE PROCESS that our Creator placed into our existence in order to ACCOMPLISH HIS ULTMATE PURPOSE IN ALL AGES AND IN ALL OF HUMANKIND.
So why did Adam and Eve disobey? Paul gives us the answer in 1st Corinthians 2:14.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Beloved, when Adam was formed, he was formed as a “natural man.” Paul confirms this in 1st Corinthians 15:44-46, stating that the PROCESS of the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD is “sown a NATURAL BODY; it is raised A SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a NATURAL BODY, and there is a SPIRITUAL BODY. AND SO IT IS WRITTEN, ‘THE FIRST MAN Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.’ Howbeit that was not FIRST which is spiritual, but that WHICH IS NATURAL; and AFTERWARD that which is spiritual.”
What did Paul say? “And so it is written,” connecting Adam to the DIVINE PROCESS OF RESURRECTION and describing him in no uncertain terms as a “NATURAL MAN.” This being true, when God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam disobeyed. Why? Because “the NATURAL MAN DOES NOT RECEIVE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, for they are foolishness to him; NOR CAN HE KNOW THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED.”
So… did you catch what I said about the PROCESS of the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD? This is what I meant earlier by His DIVINE INTENTION, His DIVINE PROCESS, and beloved, every soul on this planet, past, present, and future, is brought into this process; there are NO EXCEPTIONS. And confirmation? It’s found in the passage, “For as in” or JUST LIKE “Adam ALL DIE,” every single one of us. This is not just a casual remark regarding DEATH in our existence, but a divine injunction which stipulates WHY death exists. When we enter into this world, all of us begin as a NATURAL BODY OR BEING, where we are placed on a path that leads to becoming a SPIRITUAL BODY OR BEING, and, this path, INCLUDES THE NECESSITY OF DEATH.
So what did Paul say? The “natural man DOES NOT RECEIVE the things of the SPIRIT OF GOD.” To put it plainly, Adam HEARD what God said but did not receive in SPIRIT what God said. Adam knew in his mind BUT FAILED IN HIS HEART, therefore, HE DISOBEYED. For this reason Paul wrote in 1st Timothy 2:14 that “Adam was not deceived.”
Remember, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents the LAW OF GOD. If this is true, then it begs the question as to why God would not want Adam to FOLLOW HIS LAW. Furthermore, I have suggested that the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and the “tree of life” ARE THE SAME TREE, so again, wouldn’t our Creator want ALL OF US TO ABIDE BY HIS LAW? Yes! Very much so, BUT… Paul told us quite clearly that “the LAW is SPIRITUAL.” What God’s law stipulates must be perceived IN SPIRIT, not just in our heads as good ideas. God’s WILL is made evident by His LAW, but again, if we do not perceive in our hearts what is knowledge in our heads, we will disobey, just as Adam did. And to be plain about it, ALL OF US HAVE DISOBEYED, just like Adam, because every single person on this planet begins their journey in this world as a NATURAL BEING, a LIVING SOUL, unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God. That is what the Genesis parable conveys to us. Now, with all of this in mind, consider what Jesus said to His disciples in John, Chapter 14.
John 14:15 (NKJV)
15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
What did Jesus say? He DID NOT JUST SAY, “Keep my commandments.” Rather, He said, “IF YOU LOVE ME, keep my commandments.” Beloved, THIS IS THE SPIRIT behind the WORDS, the “ACTIVE” component behind the “LIVING” or LIFE of His Word! IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. Here we find the difference between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. The first is words inscribed in stone, written on paper, received in our minds and spoken from our lips, but the second? The second is these same words flowing from the PASSION OF OUR SPIRIT WITHIN, from out of our LOVE for our Creator and His Son!
Anyway you slice it, my friends, LOVE is the ONLY THING that frees us from the consequences of following our OWN WILL to the rewards of following the Lord’s will. No wonder Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPERS will worship the Father IN SPIRIT and TRUTH; for the Father IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. GOD IS SPIRIT, AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH” (John 4:21-24; NKJV).
So why do I believe that everyone is in this process? First of all, because the parable of Adam and Eve is the story of every person’s entrance into this natural plane, proven by the word “Adam” itself, which is used both individually and collectively throughout the creation story. Secondly, due to what Jesus taught in John, Chapter 12, concerning our divine principle of sowing and reaping. Here’s what Jesus said.
John 12:24-26 (NKJV)
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Beloved, the Lord made it clear. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground AND DIES, it remains alone; BUT IF IT DIES, it produces much grain.” Did Adam and Eve die as the Lord said they would when they ate from the tree of knowledge? They did, but the Lord was not surprised; rather, He designed this process in order for it to happen, so that you and I could eventually produce “MUCH GRAIN.”
As the Lord continues, He declares, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” In Matthew He states, “For whoever desires to save his life WILL LOSE IT, but whoever LOSES HIS LIFE for My sake will find it.” Do you see in this statement that, regardless of the choice we make, WE LOSE OUR LIFE, due to the divine process of God which works within us? Furthermore, our word “life” in this statement is actually “soul.” Here’s what we read in Ezekiel, Chapter 18.
Ezekiel 18:4 (NKJV)
4 "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
My friends, let me be raw and honest here. Paul tells us in Romans 5 that “sin came into the world through ONE MAN, and DEATH THROUGH SIN,” and the context of these passages again show that Paul is speaking about Adam. So is Adam to blame for our downfall? NO, HE IS NOT, for again, Adam REPRESENTS the natural man in everyone. The “ONE MAN” of which Paul speaks in Romans 5 is not Adam in a PERSONAL sense but Adam in a COLLECTIVE sense, which defines the essence of the “NATURAL MAN” which abides in everyone who is ever born into this world. For this reason, Paul went on to say that “death spread to ALL men because ALL sinned.”
To put it another way, the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent is MY STORY and YOUR STORY, a parabolic presentation of how our Creator implemented the process of sowing and reaping and placed all of us into it. For this reason, Paul went on to write, “Therefore, as through ONE MAN’S offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through ONE MAN’S righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” It is not ADAM’S sin which leads to MINE and YOUR condemnation. That is not what Paul is saying. Rather, just like Adam, it is MY trespass, MY sin, which rises out of my own NATURAL BEING, out of my own ADAMIC NATURE that results in my own judgment and condemnation. And why is this the case? In order for the KNOWLEDGE of our Creator in our minds to become the WISDOM which eventually abides in our hearts, changing the very essence of who we are.
That being said, let me share a little known mystery from the Genesis parable, found in Genesis 3:1. It’s found in our word “serpent.” The Strong’s Concordance defines this Hebrew word as NAHASH, which simply means, “A snake.” But the root of this word is slightly different and its definition reads, “To hiss, i.e. whisper… generally to prognosticate.” What does “prognosticate” mean? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online says, “To give an indication of IN ADVANCE: FORESHADOW.” GIVE AN INDICATION OF IN ADVANCE? FORESHADOW? Yes! As in, GOD KNEW BEFOREHAND. And what was it that God knew? Consider the following passage in Genesis, Chapter 30 in regard to Jacob, who became Israel, whose sons became the twelve tribes of Israel.
Genesis 30:27 (NKJV)
27 And Laban said to him, i.e. Jacob, "Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake."
See our phrase, “Learned by experience”? It’s the root of our word NAHASH, which is translated as “serpent” in Genesis 3:1. Here we have it, my friends. GOD KNEW BEFOREHAND that in order for us to truly KNOW Him, we must “LEARN BY EXPERIENCE.” The knowledge which comes first to our mind MUST BE TESTED AND PROVEN before it will truly remain in our hearts. Perhaps this is what the Psalmist had in mind when he wrote, “As for God, His way is PERFECT; The word of the LORD is PROVEN; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Psalm 18:30) and again, “The words of the LORD are PURE WORDS, like silver tried in a FURNACE OF EARTH, purified SEVEN TIMES” (Psalm 12:6). Beloved, the words of the LORD are pure words like silver, and the “furnace of earth,” that’s the human heart. See Revelation, Chapter 9, verses 1 through 11.
So what did Jesus say in John, Chapter 12? “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me.” Here we see the obvious distinction between our will and His will. What does serving Christ equate to? Following Him. And what is the will of Christ for you and me? To worship Him in SPIRIT AND TRUTH, not in Spirit only, but in Spirit AND truth. It’s SPIRIT first, then TRUTH. And why truth? Because truth is derived from knowledge, which again shows that KNOWLEDGE is the CORE of our existence, the FOUNDATION of belief, which confirms why Adam and Eve and you and me are presented with knowledge from the moment we are born into this world. And what is TRUTH? TRUTH is knowledge that is TESTED and PROVEN, “learned by experience.” You see, my friends, God seeks those who will worship Him in SPIRIT and TRUTH, because faith in anything less than truth, is really not faith at all.