The Lord alerted me today that some people are having great difficulty believing that the devil is represented in the book of Genesis by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is because we have been taught, for some reason, that Adam and Eve ate an apple in the garden. I need therefore to add further clarity. If you read Genesis and the scriptures carefully, you will find that the word fruit, while meaning real fruits produced by trees, is also used to represent:
- teachings or doctrine
- evidence of the inner condition of the spirit
- people e.g. offspring
- words are the fruit of the mouth
- work done for God
1. Fruit or food (s) are used to refer to teachings or doctrines
God told the Jews that they had “… plowed wickedness … reaped iniquity… eaten the fruit of lies:” (Hosea 10: 13). False prophets had been lying to them causing them to sin, just like the false prophet in the garden of Eden, who had appeared in such a pleasant and engaging manner to Eve. Jesus told us to beware of false prophets, because they are ravening wolves inside. Satan was a ravening wolf, mercilessly killing Adam and Eve, a murderer from the beginning as the Lord said.
Jesus also used the imagery of food if not fruit, to refer to His teachings. He said:
- eat my flesh and drink my blood (Jn 6: 53-60)
- I am the Bread of Life (Jn 6: 48-51). My teachings will give you life, but beware of the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees
- I am the Living Bread (Jn 6: 53-60)
- that the bread of the Last Supper represented his body while the wine represented HIs blood
- I am the Water of Life (Jn 7: 37-39)
Apostle Peter also told the disciples to desire the sincere milk of the word for spiritual growth.
Science shows that the food that we eat will either nourish or harm our cells, leading to growth or death. Poor nutrition will lead to obesity, cancer and other nutritional disorders. The devil’s diet led to the immediate death of Adam and Eve’s spirit (loss of fellowship with God, infection with sin) AS WELL AS slow physical deterioration and death. Will you eat or believe and practice the devil’s doctrine which is really based on half-truths OR will you believe the pure word of God and be saved? (Jn 8: 51).
2. Fruit is used to refer to the outward evidence of the inner condition of the spirit
People who obey God’s wisdom will produce its fruit such as an excellent spirit, prudence etc while those who refuse to follow His wisdom will produce fruits of perversion, frowardness etc (Prov 8).
God told Jeremiah that He deals with people according to the “fruit of our doings”:
“I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17: 10)
We saw that Adam and Eve produced fruits of their sins. They began to cover up, hide from God an they became evasive. He had to deal with them accordingly by preventing access to the tree of Life. While the fruit of sin will bring forth death and every evil work, the fruit or evidence of God in a believer will be God – like characteristics such as love, joy, peace etc (Gal 5: 22-23)
3. Fruit referred to people
Fruit was used to refer to people such as offspring who were called “fruit of thy body” (Deut 28: 4); and fruit of the womb (Ps 127: 3). God called the nation of Israel a “basket of summer fruit” that has only a temporary lifespan (Amos 8: 1,2).
Jesus referred in His teaching on false prophets, referred to two types - good or bad false prophets or trees which produce good or bad fruit. In this parable, he said that we will know what is hidden in the prophet’s spirit by the fruit they produce. Good/true prophets trees will produce good fruit, while corrupt prophets/trees will produce corrupt fruit (Mt 7: 15-20). If we apply Jesus’ revelation to the sin in the Garden, we will immediately understand that Adam and Eve had no problems before they submitted to the temptation of satan the false prophet. He was false because he mixed truth with lies that would lead to eternal death. Adam and Eve’s descendents were plagued by the knowledge of good and evil whose fruit was hatred, murder, lies, violence and all forms of rebellion against God.
4. Fruit referred to productivity
Those who fear the Lord will be productive (Ps 1: 3) even in their old age (Ps 92: 14). In the parable of the Gardener and the vine, Jesus referred to unproductive believers who bore no fruit. They had withered and dried up as a result of disconnecting from fellowship with Him. This was the situation of Adam and Eve as well as Cain. Like the branch in the parable of John 15, they were now worthy of nothing but to be cast out of the Garden. God in His mercy, however, purged them, but did not permit them to physically live forever. Cain was cast out however, because he refused to bring forth fruits of repentance and remained obstinate about his sin.
Fruit referred to words that we speak
Scriptures also refer to words as the fruit of the lips. If we speak good, we will reap good, but people speaking violence reap violence (Prov 12: 14 &13:2). We are also told that we will either live or die based on what we say with our lips. Proverbs 18: 21 teaches that if we love life we will speak life, but if we love death we will speak with the lips.
Jesus said that the things that come out of our mouths are really evidence of what we possess in our spirits. The spirit or the inner person is really a store house. If good is inside the spirit, we will speak good, while an evil person will bring forth evil from the spirit:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (Lk 6: 45).
Fruit referred to evidence of our work done for God
God expects believers to bring forth fruit, symbolic of other believers (Jn 15: 8).
Blessings and have a great day!