From the Beginning (2023)
By Gerald Flurry • January 13, 2023
Herbert W. Armstrong repeatedly discussed the two trees of Genesis 2 and 3, teaching me one of the greatest lessons of my life.
Why are the two trees significant to the world? “The real significance of these two symbolic trees explains the very foundation of the world,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. “In them is the answer to the great mystery of our time in this modern 20th century.”
He went on to explain how we have made so much progress by flying to the moon and creating all kinds of technological marvels, such as computers, yet we have no peace in this world. No peace!
“We cannot understand the mystery of today’s events and conditions unless we go back to the very foundation of the world, and learn what developed from its origin to the pulsating, confused present” (ibid).
The two symbolic trees explain the very foundation of the world! This is one of the most important subjects you could possibly get into. The two trees explain why the world is headed toward a colossal disaster. It all stems from choosing the wrong tree!
There is the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—which can certainly be called the tree of death. Mr. Armstrong, like the Apostle John, studied this subject “from the beginning.” John used this term over and over.
The Ultimate Beginning
Notice this “from the beginning” vision: “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). We need the Word of life from the beginning! The Word became Jesus Christ, and His disciples were able to handle and touch Him. They must have almost stared at Him at times because He was a God Being. They spent time with Him day after day. The ever living Spokesman of the Godhead became flesh and taught them directly! This ought to stir our minds!
Before angels, the universe or mankind, God and the Word existed “from the beginning.” The angels failed to obey God, so He came up with a new plan: re-create Himself in men! Can we comprehend this? It is not a dream; it is reality!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This is God’s perspective, the grand overview. We should want to see what He sees. He offers us the tree of life, and we need to know why.
John was the only New Testament writer to designate Jesus Christ as the Word. Here is a lesson to help you build wisdom and understanding: Study and pray “from the beginning” about these major issues. Go back to the beginning of the movie, so to speak, so you know what is going on. Start “from the beginning” and work forward.
The eternal prehistory of God and the Word is the ultimate beginning. Nothing and no one existed except these two Gods, and it was this way for all eternity until they created the universe! Ponder the depth of this. It is profound and real. It is what our lives are all about, the reason we exist.
God chose to re-create Himself in man because the angels failed to prove capable of ruling the universe. Only God can be trusted, so He is making more Gods!
The Word became flesh and died for our sins. “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13). “From the beginning” of the human creation, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God and chose the tree of death, it was determined that a God Being would need to spill His blood to pay for our sins and give us an opportunity to receive eternal glory. Go back to that beginning too.
Keep these great beginnings in your mind. Plant the tree of life in your own life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This is our future! It should be our chief desire.
We must study our Bibles and pray fervently to see what God did for us. Go back to that beginning and thank Him daily for the sacrifice of Christ. He was brutally beaten and crucified, His vesture dipped in blood, to remove the penalty of eternal death that was hanging over us (Romans 6:23).
Do you believe God’s Word? God promises to give you the faith and power you need, but you have to believe.
Father, Son, Family
“Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (1 John 2:24). For eternity, God and the Word dwelled together. They were not Father and Son, but now they are. When did this transition occur? Go back to that beginning.
Because of the begettal of the Father in the virgin Mary, Jesus became the Son. That was the beginning of the God Family!
The true gospel is the good news of the coming Family, or Kingdom, of God. God is building a Family! Father, Son and what else?
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:9-10). Christ is now bringing many sons to glory!
The false trinity doctrine limits God to three. The only so-called “proof” of the trinity is in 1 John 5:7-8, a large portion of which was spuriously added by dishonest translators centuries after the fact! Your Bible teaches the limitless God Family doctrine! (Request our free booklet God Is a Family to prove this truth.)
The Father and the Son are opening the God Family to billions of sons—bringing many sons to glory! They will give every human who has ever lived a chance to enter their Family. That is the gospel!
The only hope in this world is the resurrection. Most of humanity will be resurrected on the fulfillment of the Last Great Day, the last of God’s seven annual observances. (To learn more, request Mr. Armstrong’s free booklet Pagan Holidays—or God’s Holy Days—Which?)
The Wicked One
“I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father” (1 John 2:13). We must overcome the devil as Christ did. God commands it (Revelation 3:21).
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Satan sinned “from the beginning.” We need to know about the beginning of the devil. Go back and study that tragic history. It is so important to our salvation.
This great being once ruled the Earth according to God’s perfect law and government. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity [lawlessness] was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15). God created Lucifer perfect and put him in charge of a third of all the angels. But Lucifer and the angels under him failed and became Satan and the demons! Satan lost his wisdom and began to hate God’s government. This is precious truth “from the beginning.”
All of this ties back to the two trees—God and the Word’s desire for a family, the angelic rebellion, Adam and Eve’s wrong choice, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and this chaotic world today. Study these foundational subjects “from the beginning.”
“[John] received an abundance of truth and information from Christ that the other disciples did not,” I wrote in The Last Hour. John spent the most time with Jesus, and he received a lot of deep instruction “from the beginning.” Thanks to their close relationship, we also can study “from the beginning.” What an enormous blessing!
John lived longer and had more time to study “from the beginning” long after all the other disciples had been martyred. That’s just the way it is in this world because they are eating from the wrong tree! They killed the Son of God and His followers and are hostile toward the Father and the God Family!
God wants us to eat from the tree of life. This is such marvelous, wonderful, majestic, monumental truth! Go back to the two trees and see your dazzling future.Read More