THE NEW MOON, THE EIGHT DAY AND THE TREE(S) OF LIFE

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The connection between the New Moons, the Eighth Day and the Tree(s) of Life mentioned in the Bible  allows us to get a glimmer of the opportunities and rewards that are in the future for the elect of God and those who will have their opportunity for salvation after the return of Jesus Christ. Much of this understanding is awe inspiring and it brings into focus the reason that the first resurrection is referred to as a better resurrection. This understanding also shows  the importance of fulfilling God's calling during this gospel age of salvation.

This study examines the observance of the New Moon, the Festival of the Eighth Day and the Tree(s) of Life as they interrelate in God's plan of salvation that leads to eternal life and immortality after the return of Jesus Christ.

THE NEW MOON

It is very clear from both Isaiah and Ezekiel that the New Moon (i.e., the first day of each sacred month) will be observed by everyone after the return of Christ:

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says the Lord"  (Isa.66:22-23 KJV).

Isaiah only records the fact that the New Moon and the Sabbath will be observed after the return of Christ, but Ezekiel gives many  details concerning the observance of  both days.

Ezekiel 46:1- 4; 6 KJV

"This says the Lord God; The gate of the inner court that looks  toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened" (v1).

It is important to note that the worship system that Ezekiel speaks of is somewhat different than the one under the first covenant with ancient Israel and the one today during the  gospel age. During both the first covenant and  today, the observance of the New Moon was and is mainly an evening celebration honoring the beginning of the month. It was not then nor is it now viewed in the same way as the Sabbath.

"And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate [this involves worshiping]: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening" (v2).

After the return of Christ, there will be a very close connection between the observance of the Sabbath and  the New Moon. The New Moon will be observed  very much like an annual festival and the  weekly Sabbath. Thus, when Ezekiel  says, "In the day of the New Moon," and "Not be shut till evening," he means that the New Moon in the future will be observed the entire day, from evening to evening, just as the weekly Sabbath and the annual festivals are today.

"Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new moons" (v3).

There will be a parallel relationship between the New Moon and the Sabbath observances, and a significant change from what was done in ancient Israel. See our studies concerning the commanded observances under the first covenant with national Israel.

"And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the Lord in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish" (v4).

"And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish" (v6).

The future observance of the New Moon seems to be similar to the weekly Sabbath and the annual festival days on which holy convocations are to be held. Verses 4 and 6 show the relationship between the burnt offerings for the Sabbath and the New Moon. It is also important to note that a burnt offering is always a sweet savor offering and that these verses show that the importance of the New Moon offering is placed in the same category as the Sabbath offering.

The point that is important to this study is that the observance of the New Moon, which symbolizes renewal and the ending and beginning of things, will be a major part of the Fatherís worship system after the return of Jesus Christ.

The Eighth Day

The Festival of the Eighth Day follows the Festival of Shelters and Ingathering and it primarily portrays a time in the future when God the Father and the New Jerusalem come to the new earth.  

Moreover, the Festival of the Eighth Day has to do with the end of the old and the beginning of the new and the coming of the Father to earth. When the Father and the New Jerusalem come to earth, one phase of the Father's plan for humanity will end and there will be a dynamic change and new beginning in the plan of God for the future expansion of his kingdom.

It is also important to understand that God the Father will not come to this earth until the physical heavens and earth have been purified with fire, because he cannot coexist with that which is impure. Therefore, before the New Jerusalem comes to earth, the old order of things will be destroyed by fire, and the only beings remaining on earth will be spirit-beings that are in the Kingdom of God.

THE TREE(S) OF LIFE

It is important to understand the Tree(s) of Life in  relationship to  the observance of the New Moon and the Festival of the  Eighth Day in order to gain some insight into how one obtains eternal and immortal life.

There are four different locations and situations that are mentioned in scripture concerning a tree or trees of life:

1. There was a tree of life in the middle of the Garden of Eden during the time of Adam and Eve.

2. After the return of Christ, during his reign, there will be a great river which flows from the  temple in Jerusalem that has trees on both sides.

3. In the heavenly city of God and in middle of the paradise of God, there will be trees of life.

4. In  the city of God there will be a  river that flows from the throne of   God the Father and the Lamb (Jesus  Christ), which has trees on both sides.

In each of these locations and situations, there is a tree or trees that are life giving; each is different, yet there are common threads of meaning that tie all of them together.

In the Garden of  Eden

Genesis 2:7-9; 15-17 KJV:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (vs.7-9).

Placing the tree of life in the garden was a part of the physical creation, which the Creator prepared for humanity. Notice that there are many trees including a tree of life and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 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 of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die" (vs.15-17).

God gave Adam and Eve the rules that they were to obey while living in the garden, and it is very likely that Adam and Eve were able to live in the garden for about seven years before their disobedience.

Did God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life? No, he did not. He said that they could eat of  all that the  garden provided, except for the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were most likely encouraged to eat fruit from the Tree of Life every month and they probably did this on the New Moon, because the New Moon pictures a time of renewal. And eating from the Tree of Life on the first day of the sacred month  would be consistent with other scriptures that concern the other life giving trees mentioned in the Bible. It is clear that Adam and Eve could have eaten fruit from the Tree of Life  in order to sustain their lives forever and they would have never died as long as they continued to obey God's instructions.

Adam and Eve disobey

"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen.3:22-24 KJV).

God removed Adam and Eve from the garden, because if they were allowed to continue to partake of the Tree of Life, they would never have died. In order to invoke the death penalty for their disobedience, God had to remove their access to that which sustained their lifeóthe Tree of Life. Therefore, God put them out of the garden and set Cherubim to prevent access to the Tree of Life. It is very clear that, even in the human form, people could have lived eternally. However, this was not Godís ultimate plan for humanity.

During the Reign of Christ

Ezekiel 47:1-7; 12 KJV

The prophet Ezekiel reveals that there will be trees with life giving fruit and leaves on both sides of a great river that will flow from the temple  at Jerusalem during the reign of  Jesus Christ.

"Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the outer gate by the way that look eastwards; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, have you seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other" (vs.1-7).

As Ezekiel views this great river, he records that there are many trees growing on both sides of it. In view of the things that will  happen  just before and during the return of Jesus Christ, this river with its life giving trees will be extremely important to a world and a people who will be emerging from the most devastating time that the world has ever seen.

"And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side shall grow all trees for meat [for food], whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed [Hebrew: diminished, won't be gone],  it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine" (v12).

Wherever this river goes, there are trees on either side that produce  fruit for food  and  leaves for medicine according to the monthly lunar cycle. The Hebrew word for  medicine in verse 12  can mean healing or a service: thus, a healing service. The obvious purpose for these trees is to continuously renew and sustain the health and well being of people. Therefore, the river goes out over the earth to heal the waters  and  the land, and the people will be sustained and healed through the production of life giving food and medicine from these special trees that grow along the rivers banks. The healing nature of these trees might also explain why very long life spans will be commonplace during the reign of Jesus Christ. See Isa.65:19-20; Zech.8:4.

Remember that Adam and Eve were sustained in health and life by partaking of the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden. What we see in Ezekiel 47 is similar; however, these trees do not sustain eternal physical life. But, they teach people that they can eventually receive eternal life as a spirit being through partaking of the Father's heavenly Tree(s) of Life when God the Father comes to the new earth. During this time, people will  receive the  physical blessing of  health and vitality from the physical trees of life that grow alongside this great river and they will look forward to partaking of  the spiritual Tree of Life when they become a part of the spiritual family of God.

The Paradise of God

The next setting to examine is the Tree of Life in the paradise of God, which is located in the heavenly Jerusalem at the very  headquarters of God the Father's government.

Revelation chapters 2 and 3, is a message for those who are called to participate in the first resurrection during the gospel age of salvation. This message to the seven churches speaks of the various rewards that these individuals are promised. One of these rewards is to become a part of a kingdom of  Priests and to have both eternal life and immortality. See our study paper concerning the rewards of the elect and immortal life:

"He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes [ those who participate in the first resurrection] will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev.2:7 KJV Para.).

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev.22:14 Para.).

Notice that access to this Tree of Life seems to be a special reward for the elect of God who participate in the first resurrection. Also notice that access to this tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God is somehow tied to an event that will happen sometime after the first resurrection.

We know that, at  the instant of the resurrection, the elect will receive eternal life, but what additional benefits will the elect of God receive from being able to eat from the Tree of Life that is located in the paradise of God? Although it is not stated in verse 7, as we will see, there is a strong indication that this particular tree has to do with the  receiving of  immortal life (self existent life, which is different from eternal life) for those who participate in the  first resurrection.

At The Throne of God

"And he showed  me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, [the trees of life] which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of  the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Rev.22:1-2 KJV).

Revelation 22:1-2 concerns  New Jerusalem,  the new earth,  the throne of God the Father and the Lamb (Jesus Christ), which  is similar to what we saw in Ezekiel 47, except that the time setting is far into the future, when the Father has made the earth the headquarters of his government.

Who will be  left on the earth during the fulfillment of this  prophecy?  At that point in time, only those of the Kingdom of God will inhabit the earth, and there will be no physical  humans alive on  earth. Those who were in the first resurrection, the kingdom of Priests, and the rest of  humanity who have received eternal life will be in the God Family on earth. Therefore, these verses show us that the God Family will be organized into nations on the new earth and they will be living abundant and exciting lives for eternity under the care and protection of God the Father.

What is especially interesting is that verse 2 says that these trees bear twelve kinds of fruit every month and their  leaves are for the healing of the nations. This is really talking about the health giving and life-sustaining function that these trees provide for the nations of  spirit-beings in the Family of God. What we see here is that the spirit sons of God have been given eternal life that seems to require partaking monthly of the Tree of Life in order to sustain their existence. It is very likely that this will be done on the first day of the sacred month (i.e., the New Moon).

A WARNING AND A REWARD

In the Book of Revelation, there are many warning messages: some to the world at large and some to the people of God.  One of the most serious warnings is given to the elect of God concerning the consequences of failing to heed a specific warning contained within the Book of Revelation. Conversely, there are also many rewards mentioned in this prophetic book, and one of the greatest of these rewards is that of having the right to access the Tree of Life in the paradise of God.

The Book of Life and the Tree of Life

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev.22:19 Para.).

It is important to note that the whole Book of  Revelation is primarily written to the elect of God who are  called to participate in the first resurrection. Those who tamper with the prophecy of the Book of  Revelation will be erased from the Book of Life. Having one's name erased from the Book of Life also means that one will be denied access to the Tree of Life that is located in the  Father's heavenly garden within the holy city (New Jerusalem).

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev.22:14 KJV).

The context of verse 14, clearly shows that this is for those called to salvation who practiced the Father's  laws  and heeded his instructions concerning how to live their lives before the return of Christ. These people will receive the rewards that come with being able to access the Tree of Life that is within God's holy city.  

Revelation 21:24-27 KJV

"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it [New Jerusalem]: and the kings [former humans changed into spirit-beings in the Family of God] of the earth [the new earth] do bring their glory and honor into it [New Jerusalem]" (v24).

We know that New Jerusalem will be the dwelling place of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of Priests of the first resurrection. We also know that the nations of those who receive eternal life after the first resurrection will walk in the light of New Jerusalem and bring their glory to it.

"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles [all  impure things will have been destroyed by fire prior to the coming of the Father to earth] neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (vs.25-27).

Although these  kings bring glory into the city, nowhere do the scriptures indicate that they live in the city. What is clear is that this holy city is inhabited by the God Family which includes all who participate in the first resurrection.

SUMMARY

The kingdom of Priests (the elect) of the first resurrection are the only ones of humanity that are offered immortality (self existing life) in the same way that God the Father and Jesus Christ have immortality. Do not misunderstand, the elect are not equal to God the Father and Jesus Christ, but they will be immortal beings. Everyone else in the God Family has eternal life, not immortality. It is highly likely that all other humans who receive eternal life will have life that requires partaking monthly of the Trees of Life that are on both sides of the river that proceeds out of God's throne within his holy city.

It is extremely important for the  elect of God  to understand the plan of God in the same way that the apostle Paul did. With the big picture of God's plan firmly fixed in one's mind, one can see that everything works together for good for those called by God, and that one can endure anything because God says that he will never leave us nor desert us.

Paul probably understood much more of the plan of God than any other person because he was taught directly by Jesus Christ. Paul was also blessed with a  vision that projected him into the third heaven where  he received understanding that he could not tell to others at that time. Perhaps we are just now beginning to understand the awesome reality of some of the things that were revealed to the apostle Paul concerning the plan and purpose of God.

Notice what the apostle Paul wrote concerning the awesome rewards that are promised to those who overcome and participate in the first resurrection.

"Neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (1.Cor.2:9).

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom.8:18).

This is probably the most awesome part of the whole understanding of what God is doing with the elect who are called to the first resurrection and why it is called a better resurrection.

The Trees of Life

The Tree of Life in The Garden of Eden on earth sustained physical life on an indefinite basis: Gen. 2:7-9, 15-17; 3:22-24. Approximately 6,000 years ago.

The Tree of Life in the Paradise of God the Father in Heaven: Rev. 2:7; 22:14

The Elect called to the first resurrection receive eternal life at the 1st resurrection (i.e. change) --Festival of Pentecost

The Tree of Life in God's Paradise is only for those elect called to the 1st resurrection. These people receive immortality in addition to eternal life. this occurs shortly after the 1st resurrection and before Christ returns as King of Kings.

During the reign of Christ, there is a river that flows from the temple in Jerusalem that has trees along both banks that are provided for the health of the nations: Ezk. 47:1-7, 12

During the reign of Christ, the Trees of Life Teach the physical lesson of obedience in preparation for eternal life in the Family and Kingdom of God.

A river flows out of the New Jerusalem on the New Earth, which is the headquarters of God the Father. There are Trees of Life along the river banks, which are for those in the Family of God to partake of monthly, in order to sustain eternal life: Rev. 22:1-2; 21:24-27

Into future eternity after the final resurrection of the incorrigible humans to the second death in the lake of fire.