Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Opened Flowers, part 6 in this series

Pure Heart
Palm trees, cherubim and blooming flowers carved on the walls of Solomon's temple are symbols to remind the Israelites of the Garden of Eden from which Adam and Eve were driven as a result of sin. “In a symbolic sense, readmission to the paradise of God is now to be had only by means of atonement for sin at the tabernacle.” (I Kings 6, Zondervan NIV Study Bible text note p. 485). Many early Jewish synagogues were adorned with similar motifs. 


In earlier blogs I talked about the significance of the palm trees and cherubim. Now I would like to take a look at what the blooming flowers may represent on a deeper level of revelation by the Holy Spirit. First of all, we know from the scriptures that Jesus is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley. So the opened or blooming flowers were prophetic representations of  the fragrance of Christ who was yet to come and live in us one day. When lost sinners experience the fragrance of Christ in us, they are drawn to the Father God for His complete salvation. Just like the fragrance of a rose or a gardenia draws us away temporarily from our problems to a better place. Our spirit is lifted to a higher plane of excellence and wonder.

Being able to give a short, personal testimony of what Jesus Christ has done for us, is a good evangelistic tool. But if someone comes in direct contact with the love of Christ in us, they will see He is real and loves them personally. If people can experience Christ first-hand by seeing, smelling, touching, or tasting Christ, they will want to have what we have. People don't need preaching of the Gospel message, as much as they need-- to experience Christ and His transforming grace. Fully mature, saints of God are His representatives in the earth and vessels through which He reaches out to others to bring them into His kingdom.

Next Matthew 6:28 reminds us not to worry about having food or clothes, because our Heavenly Father will provide for all our needs. "See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Jesus instructed us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things would be given to us. Verse 34, "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Beautiful, opened flowers are a reminder of God's divine love and provision for us.

Fully matured, blooming flowers reveal the pistols and stamens which are the reproductive organs of the plant. The very heart or life of the plant is exposed to the weather, the sun, the rain, dust and wind. Only by opening up fully does it experience pollination so its life cycle can begin again or other plants can be produced. Think about the bumper crop of acorns we had this past fall. The abundant spring wind maximized the pollination and produced much fruit this fall which landed on the ground not only to feed the animals, but to produce new, baby oak trees all around the area. Fruit plants will die out if they don't experience successful pollination which is how and where the fruit itself is formed on the branches in the weeks and months ahead. The wind carries the pollen through the air so it is deposited on the reproductive organs. Of course, bees also help carry pollen from one plant to another so the life cycles continues each year.

Finally, our hearts need to be pollinated by the wind of the Spirit which produces the fruit of the Spirit in us. We can't produce spiritual fruit in and of our own natural ability. We have to present our opened hearts to the Spirit and ask Him to do His work of sanctification in us. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit do not force themselves upon us. They present themselves to us and we have the divine opportunity to invite them into our hearts. Therefore, opened flowers can represent the importance of having our own hearts “open” to receive grace, power and revelation from God for our personal growth and maturity. Then it also means we are open or available to sharing God's love with others so that Christ can be reproduced in them.

Are you looking for a gift to give someone for Christmas or their birthday? Susan Crouch of Statesville, North Carolina painted these gorgeous watercolor flowers and graciously donated them for use with this article. They illustrate just how beautiful God's creations are and how wonderful His love is for us. She paints full-size prints and also has a collection of beautiful, scripture note cards for purchase on her website. Please check out her work at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Palm Tree (a new discovery), part 5

Have you ever read The Book of Enoch? Genesis 5 tells us Enoch is the man who "walked with God; then was no more, because God took him away." I am currently reading it for the first time in my life. It is filled with fascinating information about cherubim, Satan, the origins of evil spirits, hell, the Temple of YHWH and other biblical subjects. It has more factual details than the books of the Bible and contains conversations Enoch had with angels and with God. I can highly recommend Khanokh, The Sky Tripper, I Enoch, True Names Version, Translated and Interpreted by Jackson H. Snyder II, 2009. (

Today I learned some more details about the tree of life which is in the paradise of God, but will be transplanted into God's temple following the Great Judgment. To my complete surprise, it is depicted as a date palm tree similar to the photo I posted in my second article back in Sept. 2011. 1 Enoch, chap. 24-25 describe the tree of life as having fruit resembling dates and having blooms that give off a "fragrance beyond all fragrance." The fruit will be for the bacharim  meaning "the elect or chosen ones" who will have access to the Temple of YHWH. The elect will eat fruit from this tree and live forever without any grief, plague, tragedy or pain.

Date palm tree from Dubai
If you scroll down and read my earlier post, Palm Tree, part 2 you see that palm trees were embroidered on the curtains of the wilderness tabernacle along with cherubim and opened flowers. Now I learned today the date palm tree is also found in 1 Enoch and will be what the tree of life looks like in the temple of YHWH during Jesus' millennium reign on earth. That means that God gave Moses instructions to embroider not just any palm tree, but one resembling the tree of life found in the Garden of Eden. So we see the tree of life showing up at the creation, in the wilderness tabernacle and again beside the throne of God in Revelation. Saints who are overcomers in this life will be granted to eat from the tree of life and live forever when once again Eden is restored. In my next post I plan to write about the opened flowers and their symbolism.

"Tree of Life Ministries" is the name of our non-profit organization and twenty years ago we chose to use an oak tree for our logo simply because we had a huge, 100 year old one growing in our backyard in Florida. I took a photo of it and asked an artist to make us a pen and ink drawing we could use on our letterhead and business cards. Hmmm. Guess we never stop learning new things the longer we live. Now we have to pray about changing our logo. Sometimes the traditions of men need changing when they discover the truth!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blue, Scarlet and Purple, part 4 in this series

Why did God instruct Moses to use blue, scarlet and purple yarn on the cherubim in the wilderness tent of meeting? Why not red, yellow and blue? Were these just random choices or were they symbolic of something more significant the Lord wanted to convey to His people. Knowing that God never does anything randomly, I did some research and prayed for understanding from the Holy Spirit. I asked an artist friend of mine to provide me with any insight she had about these three assigned colors.

'Gardenia' sent me a link to an internet article entitled, “D'var Torah: The Color Purple...and Blue...and Red”, February 22, 2009 written by Rabbi Irwin A. Zeplowitz. He quoted another 12th century rabbi named Shmuel ben Meir who connected,

blue to the sea, sky, and"heavenly throne" (Babylonian Talmud, M'nachot 43b). Also commenting on Exodus 25:4, Rabbi Meir sees crimson as a reminder of how sin can be forgiven (alluded to by Isaiah 1:18). And in ancient days, purple as well as crimson, was a sign of nobility, no doubt because of how expensive the dye was to produce (see Lamentations 4:5 and Benno Jacob, Exodus.”(

Then one delightfully cool, October morning recently I was walking through Catawba Meadows Park. The sun was shining brilliantly and there was a beautiful, Carolina blue canopy overhead. The trees are turning colors now and I surveyed the wonderful shades of yellow, red and orange. As I walked along the path enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit, the understanding began to come that the color blue in the tabernacle curtains did indeed represent the magnificence of God's heavenly realms, the place where He is enthroned above the earth; the whole solar system and universe which He created for our earthly home. God's great blue atmosphere surrounding our planet is the source of all life; our sunlight, water and oxygen and also protects us like a filter from receiving too much of the sun's deadly rays. God created the perfect atmosphere for life on this great, blue marble called Earth.

The scarlet or crimson yarn used in the tabernacle was a reminder of God's past blood covenants and a prophetic indicator of covenants to come. In the Garden of Eden, God provided a blood covenant or covering for Adam and Eve's sin when He slew an animal and “made garments of skin and clothed them.” With Abraham 2,000 years later, God provided a blood covenant of circumcision which would last a thousand generations. Then God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth 2,000 years after that point in time to shed His blood on the Cross as an atonement for our sins. He was the sacrificial lamb that was slain-- once and for all. Nothing but the crimson blood of Jesus can cleanse us from our fallen, sinful state and bring us back into God's presence. From Adam to Jesus, the scarlet yarn was symbolic of God's plan for redemption through out the history of man on earth

North Carolina amethyst crystals
Finally, the royal color of purple which is a combination of blue and scarlet, represented the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost to tabernacle within God's people. Born-again, Spirit-filled Christians are meant to be the new tabernacle of the living God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is the resurrection power who comes to empower us to overcome sin, Satan and the world. Purple is the color of royalty symbolic of power, dominion and authority. Purple represented a fulfillment of the royal mandate and divine benediction given in the garden 6,000* years ago to be “fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion over all living creatures.” 
The Holy Spirit is the divine deposit given to us until the day we receive our resurrection body at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the life of God residing in us, a combination of the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, another prophetic indicator of things yet to come. If the Holy Spirit is truly Lord of our personality and character, then we are the manifest sons and daughters of God who will rule and reign one day with the Messiah. We will exchange this temporary, earthly tabernacle for our eternal, heavenly one. Therefore, I am no longer just a 'wretched sinner saved by grace', but a royal daughter of the King of Glory! Dressed in a radiant,white bridal gown, I will be present at the marriage supper of the Lamb! Glory Hallelujah!
Therefore, the divinely chosen colors of blue, scarlet and purple were a prophetic representation of our triune God- the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have come to live and move and have their being in us. How awesome is our God! How truly magnificent is His plan through out all of history! The very specific structure, materials, images, furnishings and even the specific colors of the wilderness tabernacle revealed God's plan of redemption for mankind on earth. From Genesis to Revelation, from creation to the second coming, God's Word is truth and life everlasting! Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of God is eternal.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cherubim, Part 3 in this series

Gen 3:22 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:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (KJV).

As we see in this passage from Genesis, cherubim are human size or larger guarding angels given an assignment to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden from which man had been cast out after the fall. Man sinned by listening to Satan's lies, falling for his deception and disobeying God who told them NOT to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Cherubim is plural for two or more cherubs and they are one type or category of angelic creatures. This is not meant to be a lengthy study of angels for much as been written and published already on the topic. Today I just want to provide some insights into their purpose from a few of the scriptures and why God needed to use them.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were enjoying all the other fruit and nuts from the many trees located in the Garden. God gave them a bountiful supply of food for their enjoyment and blessed them with not having to work the soil themselves. They were blessed with divine health and a long life fellowshipping with the Lord God in the garden He had made for them. They were enjoying the fruit from the tree of life which produced life, health and immortality in them. All the work of their hands was blessed! They were God's agents in the earth given the divine benediction to be “fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion over all living creatures.” They were given only one commandment-- do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

However, Satan disguised as a serpent, subtly convinced them that they needed to partake of  the forbidden fruit because they would not surely die as the Lord God had said, but their eyes would be opened and they would become like gods themselves, knowing good from evil. Eve was deceived by his cunning words and Adam allowed her to influence his thinking and deliberately disobeyed what God had told him not to do. This is a picture of man's continual struggle today, even Christians who have chosen to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. Satan and his agents are waging spiritual warfare on the people of God hoping to destroy their faith in God and in His eternal plan for them.

Mankind in his fallen state was forbidden from re-entering the Garden of Eden and cherubim or warring angelic beings with a flaming sword flashing back and forth guarded the entrance. “The sword of God's judgment still stands between fallen humanity and God's garden. Only through God's redemption in Christ do people have access once again to the tree of life” (NIV Study Bible, 2008, p. 11, notes).

In Moses' tabernacle in the wilderness, cherubim were embroidered on all the linen curtains in blue, scarlet and purple yarn that encircled the outer court and the inner court. (The next post will discuss the significance of these particular colors.) A pair of cherubim with two wings were carved out of olive wood and placed on top of the ark of the covenant that was placed in the Most Holy Place. All the furnishings were overlaid with pure, hammered gold to signify God's glory, authority and holiness. Scriptures tell us that the Lord Almighty was enthroned between the wings of the cherubim on the ark. The angels cried, "Holy, holy, holy is our God." For He is a Holy God and commands His people to be holy. (For a more in depth look at cherubim see Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, and Rev. 4 where they are described as the four living creatures.)  To be continued.

PS- While I do not take the time to include the scripture references for all the points I cover, I will be glad to provide them for anyone who inquires about a specific idea. If you are a serious student of the Word, you will recognize the scriptures I am paraphrasing. Thanks. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Palm Trees, Part 2

Palm Trees, part 2 focuses on the symbolic nature of palm trees and challenges us to be overcomers in this life.

Early Christians used the palm branch to symbolize the victory of the faithful over enemies of the soul, as in the Palm Sunday festival celebrating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In Christian art, martyrs were usually shown holding a palm frond as an attribute, representing the victory of spirit over flesh, and it was widely believed that a picture of a palm on a tomb meant that a martyr was buried there. (

Jesus came to give us victory over Satan, the world and our own flesh or Adamic nature. He died on the cross as an atonement for our sin so we could enter into the holy of holies, the presence of God. Most people pray the sinners prayer so they can escape hell and go to heaven when they die, but God's number one purpose for sending Christ was so we could enter into His presence right now through a new and living way while here on earth. Through the forgiveness of our sins, we can enter into a new and divine relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. He wants to abide with us- now. He wants us to abide in Christ- now. Christ came to enable us to overcome sinful attitudes, emotions and behaviors; all those things that keep us separated from and out of the presence of God. 

Instead of having an escapist mentality which sings, "I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away." Lets refocus on why we were put on planet earth-- in the first place. We were created in His image to have fellowship with God, to worship Him alone and to bring Him glory by everything we say or do while here on earth. Let us be living sacrifices walking in the Spirit and leading others to do the same. Let us be walking, breathing temples of the Holy Spirit who have crucified the flesh and overcome sin, Satan and the world. Let us sing scripture songs, sing in the Spirit and make melodies in our hearts to Him.

Palm trees are symbolic of being overcomers in this life, of having the victory over our spiritual enemies and over our fleshly nature. Often palm trees are used in landscaping around churches, shopping centers, businesses and homes. The next time you see a palm tree let it be a reminder to give thanks for all Jesus Christ has done for you; his death on the cross, the salvation of your body, soul and spirit, of His resurrection life available to you here and now. 

Let it also be a reminder that here in the US we have the liberty to worship the living Lord without threat of being martyred for our faith. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living out their faith in a country where the government arrests and imprisons Christians, tortures them and demands they renounce their faith in Jesus Christ or die. Finally, pray for our country that we continue to have the religious liberties we now enjoy for generations to come. Pray that we remain a nation under God's divine providence, provision and protection.

(PS- the photo at the top is a piece of embroidery I completed and framed several years ago. It reminds me of our ministry trip to Malaysia in 2008.) 

New note added 11-20-11. The book of Enoch, chap. 24-25 describe the tree of life as being a date palm tree with fruit resembling dates and having blooms that give off a "fragrance beyond all fragrance." The fruit will be for the bacharim  meaning "the elect or chosen ones" who will have access to the Temple of YHWH. The elect will eat from this tree and live forever without any grief, plague, tragedy or pain.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Palm Trees, Cherubim and Flowers, Part 1

Today's post is a comment on the unfortunate condition of many of today's churches, hopefully not yours. It is written in response to an email from some dear sisters in Christ.
Many churches today are suffering greatly from the attacks of the enemy and works of the flesh in days gone by. Quite often churches get launched with a tremendous move of the Spirit of God and then settle down to a mundane, church as usual institution without God's manifest presence. The glory departs, the Spirit labels it  "Ichabod" and the people continue on holding structured services and programs asking God to bless them (because now they have bills to pay and a payroll to meet). What God begins in the Spirit, man tries to manage in the natural. It is just a shell of what it used to be, a reminder of the distant past when God was walking in the garden among them in the cool of the evening before the fall.

Palm trees, cherubim (guarding angels with flaming swords, not cute little baby angels hovering in the air as some artists have depicted them) and blooming flowers carved on the walls of Solomon's temple are symbols to remind the people of the Garden of Eden from which they were driven and to which God wants to see them return. (See I Kings 6). Readmission is only accomplished by means of atonement for sin. That means a deep repentance and a turning away from the things that have held the people and therefore, the church in bondage. A true turning to Jesus Christ and being determined to make Him Lord of every area of our lives: our preconceived notions, our theology, our emotions, our money, our expectations, our sexuality, our relationships, our blind spots. Anything and everything, is placed on the altar for God to incinerate it. Nothing is held back from God. The church's standard and vision has to become one of holiness before our God who says, Be holy for I am holy. 

Sin in the camp will quench the Spirit of God and drive Him away. Holiness in the camp will enable Him to return. The kingdom of God is not what we eat and drink (regulations and programs), but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost! Just one illustration here will paint a vivid picture. If the farmer does not regularly clean out the barn, it gets ugly, smelly and not a very nice place to be. Looks like you guys will need to clean out the old barn so the Spirit of God can return with His glory and power!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Beginnings

Today is a new beginning for me. For decades the Holy Spirit has given me various articles to write and they usually lay dormant in my personal journal or computer. Now I will begin to share them through this venue. I pray they will inspire, encourage and motivate others to love, worship and serve the soon coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus Christ is everything we need for love, happiness, peace, joy and success in this life and the life to come. The Holy Spirit living in us will empower us to be overcomers during these perilous end times and live in peace when we observe chaos and destruction from world events.

May God bless you richly today with his righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!