Two Laws—The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil, And The Tree Of Life
Today’s post is adapted from a short section of my book Present Access To Heaven. It’s part of a chapter that deals with things which hinder us from seeing God as he is and living in the reality of heaven.
The subject of “the law” can be a bit confusing in the New Testament. Many people debate whether Christians are under the law or not. Some believe we are not justified by the law but are still under it. Some people believe we are under part of it, like the 10 commandments and a few other rules. They call it “The moral law.”
The confusion often stems from the fact that the New Testament talks about two laws, just as it talks about two covenants. It contrasts these laws. We are not subject to any part of the old covenant law. That doesn’t mean that we are lawless. We are subject to a new law with an entirely different nature.
This excerpt puts together many statements directly from the New Testament about the law. Putting these statements together helps to clarify the contrast between the Old Covenant law and the law of Christ. All verses quoted here are from the New Revised Standard Version. Of course, that the Old Covenant law is of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil isn’t directly stated in scripture, but I think you’ll see that it’s pretty clear from what scripture does say about that law.
The Old Covenant Law—The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
The veil that 2 Corinthians 3 speaks of is the Old Covenant law that was done away with. The law was good, but it was powerless to justify us or bring us into the knowledge of the Lord; through it came the knowledge of sin, and not of righteousness. Since the law did not lead to the knowledge of the Lord, but to the knowledge of sin, it was from the “good” part of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Just like the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did, the law brought death. Rather than freeing from sin, the law caused sin to multiply, aroused our sinful passions, and revived sin. The law was flawed, and perfection was simply not attainable through it.
The old law was abolished and became obsolete because it was weak and ineffectual, and a better hope was introduced, through which we may now approach God and enter heaven itself. This was a new law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, the Spirit of God dwelling in man; the knowledge of the Lord.
The Law Of Christ—The Tree Of Life
This law of life was not in letter, but was written on our hearts by the Spirit of God. Unlike the old law which was of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this law was the knowledge of the Lord which was made possible through the forgiveness of sins. Under this new commandment, we love as God loves, because we have received God’s love and that love has become our nature.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
We had to die to the old law, which was of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to live in the new law, the knowledge of the Lord. This knowledge of the Lord comes by justification through grace and produces grace.
This law, of the knowledge of the Lord through grace, is Christ’s new commandment that we love as he loves us. This law empowers us. This is the law of righteousness and of being led by the Spirit of God. Let’s look at some scriptures which contrast the law of the old covenant with the new law of grace and righteousness which we have received:
Romans 7:4 In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
Cutting Yourself Off From Christ And Falling Away From Grace
One reason Christians presently experience much less than heaven’s reality, struggling with sin and lacking in power, is that they have been bewitched into following the old law that is in letter but not in the knowledge of the Lord through grace. Just as we first received salvation through grace, we must continue in it by grace.
Galatians 3:1-5 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse…
Galatians 5:4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
The power of God unto salvation is in the message of the gospel. If we are really believing the gospel, God’s power and miracles should manifest abundantly among us. One of the main reasons that many are lacking in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and don’t see miracles is that they are trying to attain them through the works of the law instead of by simply believing the gospel.
If you liked this post, you may want to check out my Heaven Now book trilogy. It’s full of insight into understanding simple gospel truths and exercising heaven’s dominion on earth. It’s also filled with testimonies of what happened when I put these truths into practice. I’m sure these books will encourage you and help you learn to walk as a heavenly person. Not only that, but your purchase supports our missionary work in Brazil and in every other place we go!
 Romans 7:12, 16
 Galatians 2:16, 3:11
 Romans 3:20
 Romans 7:5, 9-10, Romans 8:2, 1 Corinthians 15:56,
 Romans 5:20
 Romans 7:5
 Romans 7:9
 Hebrews 8:7
 Hebrews 7:11+19, 10:1
 Ephesians 2:15
 Hebrews 8:13
 Hebrews 7:18
 Hebrews 7:19
 Hebrews 9:24, 10:19
 Romans 8:2
 Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7
 2 Peter 1:2
 John 13:34
 Romans 1:16