Revelation 2:7: “To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life.”
“She [Wisdom] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her,” (Proverbs 3:18).
But it is a great mystery to the world as to what that Wisdom really is. Wisdom is Christ; He is the Wisdom of God: “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,” (1 Corinthians 1:24).
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
That Wisdom, which is Christ, is also called “Light”:
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light,” (Gen. 1:3).
“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion,” (Jeremiah 10:12).
“The LORD possessed me [Wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I (Wisdom) was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights [were] with the sons of men,” (Proverbs 8).
“15 [Christ] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence,” (Colossians 1).
“[God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds,” (Hebrews 1:2).
Light was the first creation; Wisdom was the first creation; Christ is the First-born of all creation: therefore Wisdom is Light and Christ is both Light and Wisdom.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [Christ], that all [men] through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light. 9 [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” (John 1:6-8).
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, (John 8:12).
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,” (John 9:5).
Christ is the Word which God spoke forth in the beginning:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him, [Christ the Word]; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not,”(John 1:1-5).
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life,” (1 John 1:1).
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,” (1 John 5:7).
“And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God,” (Revelation 19:13).
The Word is Light:
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalms 119:105).
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” (Psalms 119:130).
II. The Wholesome Tongue
Christ is the Word, is Light, and is Wisdom; therefore Christ is the Tree Of Life: “A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit,” (Prov. 15:4).
The word ‘wholesome’ is from the Hebrew word marpê’, meaning “a curative, a medicine or cure.” Figuratively it means deliverance, or placidity. It is also translated “healing,” “remedy,” “sound.” So we could translate it “A healing tongue.…” The fruit of that tree, the wholesome, healing tongue, is Life; yet
The fruit of the unwholesome tongue is Death:
“Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof,” (Proverbs 18:21).
“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts,” (James 4:2-3).
So we choose Life or Death by the kind of tongue we love. The Word of God is the fruit of the Tree of Life.
The Tongue Has the Power of Creation
It is a great mystery to the world that the spoken word of our tongue has the power of creation in it. Yet the Bible teaches from Genesis 1 that all creation was created by God’s spoken Word. By this same principle Jesus spoke to created things: to the fig tree: Mark 11:14; to the wind and waves: Mark 4:39-40; to bread (blessed it): Mark 6:41-44. He walked on the water: Mark 6:48. In other words, created things heard His voice and obeyed his spoken word. He thus had complete dominion over all created things. As Mankind was created in the image of God, so he has creative power in his tongue.
Jesus was only affirming the truth of Genesis 1 when He taught His disciples to “speak” to created things and command them as He had given them an example: “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them],” (Mark 11:23-4).
The disciple of Christ can have whatever he asks of the Father in faith believing and can command the created world: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11).
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19).
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22).
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it],” (John 14:13-14).
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,” (John 15:7).
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you,” (John 15:16).
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you,” (John 16:23).
“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,“(Eph. 3:20).
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight,” (1 John 3:22).
“And this is the confidence that we have in him that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him,” (1 John 5).
We can even ask for the life of our brother who has sinned:
“If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it,” (1 John 5:16).
Now, with these things in mind, it is possible to see why God dealt so severely with Moses when God had commanded him to “speak to” or “tell” the rock to bring forth water but instead he smote the rock, Numbers 20:1-13. Even though God was abundantly merciful to allow the waters to gush forth for the benefit of the entire congregation and their cattle, yet he rebuked Moses and Aaron and they were not allowed to bring the people into the promised land. (Numbers 20:12; 27:14; Deuteronomy 1:37; 3:26-27; Leviticus 10:3.)
Should We ‘Speak To’ or ‘Smite’?
In the eyes of the world, when we “smite the rock” it appears to them that our efforts have caused the results, or at least have contributed to them. However, if we only “speak” to the creation, even demons, then it is abundantly apparent that it is God Who has done the miracle.
The essential lesson is that God requires our full obedience. In another instance God did command Moses to “strike the rock”. Exodus 17:1-7. Although there are similarities between the two incidents, it is apparent that there were two separate incidents. In the one instance the people were at Rephidim, (Exodus 17:1-7) and the other the people were at Kadesh, (Numbers 20:1). (See also Moses written record of the journey: Numbers 33:2, 14, at Rephidim, verse 36 at Kadesh). In both cases there was strife with the people and the waters were called “strife,” Meribah. However, in the first instance God’s command to Moses was to strike the waters, whereas in the second instance God’s command was to “speak to” or “tell” the rock to bring forth water!
Wisdom teaches us obedience:
“A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke,” (Proverbs 13:1).
“A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent,” (Proverbs 15:5).
In Christ, His Word and His Will we have access back to the Tree of Life.