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Most of us don’t realize this but gardens and the plants within them are very significant to the Lord.  In today’s study, we are going to see the three gardens of the Lord.  In doing this, the question will arise:  Are you a well planted tree of God or are you a tree growing wildly?

Gardens of God

When many of us think of God, trees, and gardens our minds instantly think of the garden that God planted eastward in Eden as recorded in Genesis (Gen. 2:8).  The garden of Eden is certainly the most well known garden of God, however, there are two more gardens of His that are just as, if not more, significant.

The three gardens of God that we find in scripture: the one that was in Eden; In the book of Revelation, it is revealed to us that there is a garden in eternity called “The Paradise of God”.  Now, the third garden, I am going to save to reveal later on in this study.  What I want to do now is take a look at Eden and a small glimpse at Paradise because both share a connection with the third garden of God.

In the garden of Eden

Genesis 2:8-14 gives us a really good picture at God’s planted garden that Adam and Eve were placed in.  Right away in this passage of scripture, we are told that God made every tree grow in the garden.  Something we will notice about each garden is that each garden is made up of trees.

Now, what is interesting about the garden of Eden is that at that point in time, we are told that God had not caused it to rain on the earth, but that a mist went up from the earth and watered it (Gen. 2:5-6).  Gardens, as we know, need water, good ground, and sunlight in order to flourish.  Eden merely received a light mist, so how did it flourish?

The garden of Eden was uniquely crafted by the hands of God and not necessarily by the course of nature itself.  Scripture tells us that every tree in the garden was pleasant to the sight and they were also good for food as well (Gen. 2:9); they were beautiful and served a practical purpose as well.  Even though Adam and Eve didn’t necessarily require food to live, they could eat from most trees at their leisure (Gen. 2:16).

Now, as we look at these trees that the Lord made, we are told of two very specific trees in the garden.  In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life and the tree of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9).  As we know, the Lord commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).

Note:  The Lord did not give such a commandment about the tree of life!  Adam and Eve could eat of the tree of life.  The answer as to why is revealed to us in the book of Revelation.

Quick glance at the Paradise of God

In the book of Revelation, it is revealed to us that the tree of life resides in the midst of the Paradise of God (Rev. 2:7; 22:2,14).  The significance of this fact is two-fold for us.  The tree of life, as we have seen, was once in the garden of Eden but that garden no longer exists today because of mankind’s fall in the garden.

Note:  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil only appears in Genesis 2 as it likely died after mankind’s sin.  Eden was blocked off by cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of  life.  Since the tree of life is no longer in this world, one could suggest that Eden is no longer in this world as well.

Scripture tells us that those who overcome and enter the heavenly kingdom will freely eat from the fruit of the tree of life.  So, what does eating fruit from the tree of life do?  Well, it gives life!

Now, don’t think that the fruit of this tree is what will literally give us eternal life as Christ is the one that gave us eternal life.  Adam and Eve could eat from the tree in the garden, but we do not see in scripture that they were required to eat from the tree.  Why so?

The idea that Adam and Eve would have to eat from the tree of life in order to keep on living would suggest that they were always dying in the garden and that was not the case.  As you have heard me say before, Adam and Eve were created perfect; they were not dying in the garden and simply ate at their leisure.

We will consume the fruit and leaves of the tree of life in heaven just as Adam and Eve could.  Again, we are not going to do it because eating the fruit will sustain our eternal lives as that would suggest that death exists in heaven.  Death, as plainly stated by the Lord, will not exist in His heavenly kingdom (Rev. 21:4).

Rivers of Eden

As we continue through this passage of scripture, we see that out of Eden ran a river that parted and became four.  The names of each river is mentioned to us as well – Pishon, Gihon (the Nile), Hddekel (the Tigris), and Euphrates.  Some use these rivers to try and pinpoint where Eden was located but, for this study, Eden’s location is of no significance.

Though the purpose for each river implication was obvious – another source for watering the garden.  The mist that was watering the earth at that time certainly had to come from somewhere!  Also, if Adam and Eve could eat from most trees in the garden, I imagine that they also could go for a drink of water at their leisure as well.

So, Eden was truly a beautiful sight and it thrived with life.  Eden was not only physically beautiful, but Eden was created in God’s perfection – it was holy and righteous.  The Paradise of God, being in heaven, is also a garden of perfection as it will most certainly be holy and righteous as well.

God’s garden today

In John’s gospel, we will see where Jesus speaks of the Father as a gardener that is actively still gardening today.  Jesus said, “My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away (removes); and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2).

This is a very big hint to today’s garden which the Lord is actively gardening in. What is the third garden of God?

Note:  The third garden of God is the world itself.  Yes, Eden was a garden in this world but God’s third garden is the world itself.

Eden was a perfect garden until man sinned in it and the Paradise of God will always be perfect.  There is certainly beauty in the world, however there is a major difference between the world, Eden, and the Paradise of God. The major difference is that God’s garden in the world is filled with sin.

The best picture of God’s garden in the world today is shown to us in Jesus’ telling of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matt. 13:24-30).  Jesus explains in the parable that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  However, after sowing his seed, his enemy snuck into his field and scattered his seed.  The two being spoken of in this parable is the Lord and the devil.

Rather than having His angels pulling up the tares, the Lord allows His seed and the seeds of the devil to grow together.  Why does the Lord allow this?  Well, God didn’t want any of His plants to be pulled up with those of the devils.  Only at the time of harvest, when the plants have revealed the kind of plant they are, will they be harvested or thrown out completely.

The picture of God’s garden in the world

So, unlike Eden and the Paradise of God, the garden in the world is rather messy; there are plants that grow wild and plants that the Lord planted.  Like Eden, there are rivers that run through this garden, but unlike Eden, rain does fall in this garden which means there is growth all over the place.

Spiritually speaking, the rivers that feed the roots of the plants in the garden are the many doctrines in the world which includes: worldly doctrines, doctrines of religion, and then God’s sound doctrine.

Note:  The rivers of God that run through this garden is named “The Word of God”.  Isaiah 55:10-11, scripture states, “as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth.”

So, God likened the word that proceeds from His mouth to being like rivers of water.  Every tree (or branch) that is connected to the true vine (or root) that is Jesus Christ, is connected to the vines that run into the rivers of God.  Therefore, every tree that grows off the vine (or roots) of Christ are being sustained by the Word.  This would mean that every believer is a tree in God’s garden; in fact, we are the good, well planted, trees in God’s garden.

The Planted Tree of God

To further illustrate this point, let’s take a look at the tree of God as shown in Psalm 1 and the book of Jeremiah so that we can further understand who is a tree of God and what it means to be a planted tree of God.

In Psalm 1:1-3, we read:

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV

Note: Those who delight in the law (the word) of God, are those who are a well planted tree of God.  The well planted tree of God is one that brings forth fruit.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV

We are told that the tree of God does not have fear when heat comes.  Why?  Because its roots are in constant supply of life from the endless supply of the river of waters.  In drought, the tree of God doesn’t survive – it thrives – as it continues to yield fruit.  Do you realize what this means for the believer considering that we are a planted tree of God?

For us as believers, we don’t have to worry about what season we may be in; we don’t have to worry about what we are going through.  Why?  Because we are living off the rivers of God (His Word) and they will sustain us through every season.  Yes, we have our ups and we have downs, and in those downs, you are going to thrive.

I think about the trees in my backyard and how we’ve had some terrible storms, hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, a blizzard, multiple ice storms and yet, they are still standing.  The trees in my backyard aren’t even rooted next to an endless supply of water but they endure.

Just remember, as a tree of God, with your roots living off of the word of God, you’re receiving an endless supply of nutrients to live and thrive.  To go along with that thought, we have also been planted in good fertile ground to help sustain us.  Like the trees in the garden of Eden, we are beautiful and strong.

Significance of trees in scripture

So, the significance of trees in scripture essentially ties into life itself — birth, living, death, and even resurrection as well.  In Matthew 13:1-9, Jesus is recorded telling the “Parable of the Sower”.  In this parable, Jesus spoke of sower that went out to sow seed.

Some of the seed sown by the sower fell by the wayside and nothing grew because birds came and ate the seed.  Some of the seed sown by the sower fell on stony places but what grew had no depth because there wasn’t much ground and eventually what grew withered away.  Some of the seed, Jesus said, fell in among thorns and what grew from that seed was eventually choked out and killed by the thorns.

However, the seed that fell on good ground grew up and yielded much crop.  We are all born into this same world but sin has corrupted this world to the point that it’s difficult to grow, spiritually, and thrive.  What I mean by this is that sin is either always trying to choke you out or devour you.  In order to truly live and thrive in this world, Jesus said, one must live by the Word of God (Matt. 13:18-23).

Bears good fruit

May I also suggest to you that not only can we be beautiful like the trees that were in the garden of Eden, but we also can serve a practical purpose as well.

In John 15:1-8, we will see scripture that cross references with scripture from Matthew 7:15-20, that speaks to the practical purpose we can serve as a planted tree of God.  As we’ve already seen from John 15:1, Jesus said that the Father is the vinedresser (gardener) in His garden.  Now, from that verse, we will see Jesus speak to the practical purpose we serve.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:2-5 NKJV

As the trees that were in the garden of Eden bore fruit, we should also bear fruit as a tree of God.  What kind of fruit do you think we bear as believers?  Let’s answer this question.  To do this, let us consider the source of food that we consume because, as the saying goes, “you are what you eat”.

As a tree of God, we take in light and water as our source of food.  Spiritually speaking, our source of light is the one that said He is the light of the world.  Jesus proclaimed that He is the light of the world (John 8:12).  As we have already seen, our supply of water comes from the mouth of God – it is the word of God.

So, the tree that God has planted is taking in light coming from Jesus and He is holy and righteous.  Jesus is the word (John 1:1) that has proceeded from the mouth of God as well.  So, if all we consume, spiritually speaking, is holy and righteous, that would mean that the fruit we bear should be holy and righteous as well.

Note:  The genuine believer bears fruit that is good; it is holy and righteous because they abide by the Lord.  The fruit we bear is meant to be eaten by all of those that are around us so that they can also become what they eat.  So, if we are bearing fruit that is holy and righteous, those around us will eat what is holy and righteous as well.

In Matthew’s gospel, we will see where Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit (Matt. 7:18).”  Jesus said this in regards to false teachers who try to portray themselves as being holy and righteous.  The wicked ones can dress themselves up all they want, but the fruit they bear is not holy and righteous.  This is troubling because so many people are consuming fruit from bad trees rather than going to the garden of God and eating from His trees.

Note:  Those that eat bad fruit – fruit that is unrighteous and wicked – will become unrighteous and wicked should they not change their eating habits.  The believer cannot bear bad fruit; we either bear fruit or no fruit at all.

Pruning of the Lord

Sadly, in God’s garden today, there are trees growing from the root of Christ that aren’t bearing any fruit at all; this one may not be active in sharing its fruit.  Now, the Lord does not want a tree that He has planted to not bear any fruit.  On this note, Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He (the Father) takes away (John 15:2).”  So, what does this mean?  Is the Father saying that He will cast you away if you aren’t bearing any fruit?

These questions tie into the topic of losing salvation.  As we have studied and learned, no genuine believer can lose their salvation.  Peter stated that our inheritance does not fade away and is reserved for us in heaven; our salvation is kept by the power of God through faith (1 Pet. 1:4-5).  On this same note, Jesus said that He gives eternal life and nobody can snatch the genuine believer out of His hand (John 10:28).

So, when the Father takes away a branch that is not bearing fruit, let us not think that this is a branch that is being cast away into hell because it is not.  No, the tree (or branch) that is cast in fire are those that do not abide in Christ (John 15:6).  Unlike the garden of Eden, there are beautiful trees but also trees that don’t bear fruit, and also a bunch of wild growing weeds and trees.

What this means is that God has to do a lot of pruning in His garden.  When it comes to those trees that grow and have wild vines and branches, the Lord has to constantly clear them out.  You may ask, why?  Well, have you ever seen wisteria – the pretty purple trees?  Let me tell you, don’t let the beauty of wisteria fool you.

Wisteria is essentially a vine that can grow very wildly.  Though it may look pretty, wisteria can be very dangerous to trees.  When wisteria begins to climb up trees, it is best you cut that vine immediately!  Why?  Well, when left uncheck, a vine of wisteria can grow to be so thick and strong that it will choke the life out of a tree and bring it down!

So, in His garden, God will not allow wild vines and trees to grow that can impede and hinder His good trees from growing and bearing fruit.  On the other hand, the trees that God planted that do not bear fruit can also hinder His good trees.  How so?  Well, three branches can grow into the tree branches of other trees that can block growth as well.  So, the Lord takes away the branches of those trees so that they aren’t blocking the growth of good trees.

The Father is always working so that His good trees can bear fruit.  Jesus said that the Father even prunes the branches of His trees that are bearing fruit (John 15:2).  Why?  So that those good trees can have more room to bear more fruit.

Note:  We believers aren’t perfect.  Even though we are a tree of God, we still do fall into sin and the Lord often has to and will prune us.  This is done so that we can continue to bear fruit.

So, let us in this season of study on this note:  all who are of genuine faith in the Lord is a well planted true of Him.  Through our faith in His word, we live, we grow, and we flourish.  No matter what you go through, in every season, you thrive because the word of God sustains you.

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