BY: JOHN R. GAVAZZONI
FEBRUARY 17, 2007
Assuming that the word, “reconstitution” represents a more accurate concept of the essence of what God has done, is doing, and will do for and to all creation in Christ, rather than the more commonly accepted, “restitution” or “restoration,” I hope, in this article, to provoke some fresh probing into the nature of the economy of God. Paradoxically, with God, though He “changes not,” and His Son is “the same yesterday, today and forever,” change is intrinsic to all that He does in that He is ever doing “a new thing.”
To the casual observer, it would appear that God is always trying to recover from setbacks to His plan and purpose. At times He seems to take one step forward and get thrown back two. But I assure my brethren in Christ, that whatever happens in God’s universe, regardless of appearance, the happening is not only part of a larger steady, sure advancement, but is itself a movement forward.
Most of those who read this article, I’m rather confident, are kingdom-oriented in their hope, and have advanced beyond the “going to heaven”-centrality of popular evangelical theology. But many may think of God’s aeonian purpose simply in terms of God restoring to mankind what was lost in Eden through disobedience.
I think we err if we imagine that Eden was God’s high mark. I think we err if we imagine that it was God’s best to which we simply need to return, but this time, to not repeat Adam’s mistake. The Garden of Eden was a starting point, a point from which man is intended to advance (and strange as it may sound to some, let me say that even the entrance of sin into the world served that advancement). The question we must ask is, “Did Adam and Eve eat of the Tree of Life?”
We know that they were barred from eating of it after they sinned, in fact, barred from the garden itself, but had they eaten from it previously so that upon eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they lost the benefits of the Tree of Life? I think not. The benefit of eating of that tree according to John 17: 3 is that they would have come to know God – not know about Him, but know Him experientially in fellowship and communion – I quote: “And this is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
That’s the effect of partaking of the life of God, and that’s what the Tree of Life represents – partaking of God’s life. God did say, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat, but of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it…” It seems that there were many trees in Eden and the original human couple were given permission to eat of any and all of them except one. Might there be a very essential difference that one would be confronted with in seeking to eat of the Tree of life as opposed to all the other permissible trees?
I am an outspoken advocate of acknowledging the absolute sovereignty of God. Simply put, I do not believe anything happens that was not intended to serve the purpose and glory of God. But, by that, I do not believe that God personally intervenes dictatorially in my every day life in a way, for instance, that He would necessarily dictate that I have fruit for breakfast rather than bacon and eggs.
There are normal, everyday natural decisions that we make that God incorporates into His grand purpose without “making a big deal out of it.” But I have found that it is not my decision to make when it comes to entering into conscious communion with Him. I do though, hasten to say that it is not unlike God to turn the most common, ordinary, everyday incident or routine into an encounter with Him.
Say what you will, but it is God who initiates communion with Himself. We can “choose” till we’re blue in the face to have a sweet time of fellowship with the Lord at any given moment, but we will discover that it may not be granted us simply because we have decided that’s what we want.
You may, in your spiritual childhood be permitted to assume that your decision is what ushers you into the Lord’s presence, and it may SEEM very obvious to you that that’s the way it works. But, a little farther down the path of maturation, and you will discover that it’s all about God ushering you consciously into His presence when He chooses, and you may have to endure seasons where He steadfastly refuses to grant you a conscious audience with His Majesty.
Where am I going with this? Pertaining to the Tree of Life, as differentiated from the other permissible trees, Adam and Eve could only eat of that tree IF they were granted so, and WHEN they were granted so. When God grants you something, that something is signed, seal and delivered. God’s grants are not a matter of mere possibility, God’s granting is causative.
If you’re granted to eat of the Tree of Life, you will eat. Where, with the other trees, which represent lesser, natural blessings, you can usually just meander around the garden and pick and eat at your discretion. Not so with the infusion of divine life. That’s God’s choice. That’s God’s granting, in the due time that He chooses.
The Tree of Life speaks of Christ as our life to be partaken of so that we live by Him. When contemplating that garden scene and the choice that the first human couple made, keep in mind that Jesus said, “No man cometh unto me except the Father draw (drag) him.” Yes, that’s the force of the Greek word translated draw – to drag.
Men do not choose Christ naturally, they do so because of a Spirit-induced compulsion; so lacking that, man, from the beginning, chose what seemed to be the only way to go. Lacking the divine compulsion, and faced with God’s commission to “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and conqueror it,” the serpentine conclusion arose in Eve’s mind, that the way forward was the religious way, the way of the knowledge of good and evil, instead of the Way of Life. So they died. That which was completely alien to their constitution entered them causing death. In fact, that’s what death is, being alienated from the life of God in the depths of your own humanness.
But it is very necessary that we should have died, for God is into reconstituting things. From the inside out, God reconstituted Himself in Christ from pure Spirit-Word to flesh “… the Word became flesh…,” and then reconstituted that flesh by death and resurrection into glory-flesh. The fifteenth chapter of 1Cor. is a chapter about glory, and a chapter about glory that is the result of a seed that goes into the ground and dies before it comes forth in newness of life.
We’re not into mere restoration in the sense of getting back to some pristine human condition that we never should have left. We’re always forgetting those things that are behind and pressing forward into reconstitution. Have you ever noticed – and I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t – that Adam and Eve were naked before and after they sinned.
Before they sinned, they were not ashamed of their nakedness, then afterward they were, but they were naked before and after. There are many juicy truth-morsels in that fact, but I want to point out that the presumption regarding Adam and Eve being clothed in light before they sinned just doesn’t seem to square with scripture. They didn’t lose any clothing when they sinned. They had no clothing to lose – no clothing – not even a clothing of light.
It seems clear that Adam, not Satan, was the “light-bearer,” of which the prophets spoke , but that, in itself, does not necessarily mean that his inner Reality, the Reality of Christ, had yet come to emanate out from him so as to clothe him externally, that is, so that what was inside fully showed outside.
He did not have the “skin” that was given him after he sinned, but I picture Adam’s pre-sin body, though not yet clothed in light, to be a translucent body, truly beautiful, but not yet in a state of awesomely brilliant, shining glory-fulfillment.
Such a state requires death and resurrection according to the principle of the gospel. In Christ, every man is a “light-bearer,” but the “Light that lighteth every man coming into the world,” has not yet come forth to close every man. God clothes Himself in the light of His own glory, that is, His inner essence emanates outward to become His clothing and His habitation.
Adam, with his complement, Eve, were destined for reconstitution through death and resurrection, THE death and resurrection that was assumed, finalized, concluded and consummated in the Last Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no victory without an enemy and the last enemy, death, serves the reconstitution of all things as “the death He died, He died once for all, but the life He lives, He lives unto God.”
It is granted to the overcomer to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the center of the Paradise of God. But we must answer the question, “Who is an overcomer?” There is only One who has overcome, who has undergone complete reconstitution and lives in the glory which He had with our Father before the world began. His overcoming is ours, His victory is ours, His reconstitution is ours and His reconsitution through us is and will be extended to all things.
There is only one overcoming, only One Overcomer in whose victory we are caused to participate. “Behold, I make all things new.” That’s what He does; rest in it. Rest in Him. And in that rest, go forward from victory to victory, from glory to glory. Go forward.
RECONSTITUTION [John R. Gavazzoni] 2-17-08 1