Avid Reader wrote:
I think it amazing and awesome that the one Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, guarded, contained ... becomes the enormous, prolific, fruitful Tree of Life, growing all along the river of the water of life, in the New Jerusalem, where it speaks to me of abundant life and grace. The only way to the Tree of Life is via the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life: Jesus himself. Jesus, it seems to me, in a very real sense, "guards" the way - and praise God that he, in his mercy and grace, lets us in to eat of the fruit that he alone can provide, if we but trust in him!
Agree, being the WORD of God John 1:1, Heb 4:12, Gal 3:16 Christ is the two edge sword and who guarded the way to truth and life with him is cherubim which parallel to Zech 4: 12-14 which is synonyms of Eph 6:1-2, Luke 18:16-17 which we can understand through the germination of the seed as demonstrated in parable of the seed.
Now let me first of all address what that does not mean: this parable does not teach that there are not contributory factors to the growth of the seed. It grows independently, but that doesn't mean that nothing else affects its growth. Now first of all, as we look at the spiritual truth, we have to say that a sower must sow the seed - is that not so? Excuse the pun. There is a sower, and he is planting this seed, and that has to happen. Though the growth is independent, and the life is in the seed itself, someone needs to go and put it out onto the soil. It's the same with the gospel, people will not get saved if we just sit and rest on our lees and do nothing about it, but as Paul said in Romans: how shall they hear without a preacher? There needs to be a sower. It pleased God, through the foolishness of preaching, Paul told the Corinthians, to save some - so there are contributory factors to the growth of this seed, though it grows independently.
There must be a sower to sow. Then secondly, not only must there be a sower, there must be water. In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul could say: 'I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase'. He's indicating there that though God gave the increase, and the seed's growth was independent of anything else, because the life is in the seed, there was a contributory factor to the growth of that seed, and that was watering - and I believe watering could well be prayer. We need to sow the seed, we need preachers, we need people who gossip the gospel - and it's not enough just to throw the seed out, we need to pray before and after, we need to water the word of God.
Jesus prayed in John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
In sowing of seed we cannot sow other seed except the seed which God has elected and that seed is Christ. Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Jesus said in John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Like in the parable of the seed Mark 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
Mark 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
Mark 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
This is how Jesus teaches how we could know the secrets of the parables which are formed of pure words of God Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Psa 12:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.