It goes without saying that faith is indeed the seed of Eternal Life. Without faith, there is no salvation and no assurance of heavenly glory. As Paul explains in Rom. 6:20-23, the seed of faith produces “holiness, and the end, everlasting life”. Although almost everyone knows and believes this gospel cliché, we need to review it in the light of our discussions in this series.
Let us step back and look as Nature’s processes in order for us to glean the higher spiritual principles involved in appreciating Organic Faith.
When God created living things, He began with the plants, animals and humans in which the seed of life that could reproduce life according to every “kind” was already contained. It was the first telling lesson in the beginning of time that LIFE is endless, eternal – Lesson # 1. (Gen. 1:11-31) Hence, those who believe otherwise failed in Nursery — and Plant Nursery, as well. In short, God already conceived the process of life reproduction even before He created living beings. He did not give stars and planets the same ability to reproduce “their kind” as He gave to others upon the Earth. For a star eventually consumes itself and burns out, collapsing into a black hole (according to one theory); it appears, then, that it does not regenerate or reproduce itself. Likewise, a planet remains a planet unless it collides with a meteor or a comet and breaks into smaller planets or even turn into dust. It has no ability to reproduce itself as it is. (1 Cor. 15:39-40)
Perhaps, by some process or happy accident stars and planets may reproduce themselves; but the seed in living beings required to replicate themselves simply does not exist; for celestial “beings” do not have seed in them to multiply their kind. The Creator said so. Inorganic things remain static, lifeless and diminishing. So, Lesson # 2 is: Matter is temporary.
Lesson # 3, on the other hand, says living beings, particularly humans, possess the ability merely to sexually reproduce what the Creator produced or created. Why and how we reproduce are all up to the Creator and His intentions and ways, which presumably were made known clearly in the beginning to humans and even instinctively to plants and animals. Being created in God’s image or likeness, however, meant humans were of a different nature from plants and animal – and, likewise, from God and from angels who are pure divine spirit. Corollary to Lesson # 3 then, humans reproduce life (divine spirit) and matter (body) as an organic unit. Meaning, no human can reproduce a spirit or an angelic being without a body, or a body without a living spirit. Lesson # 4, which is the fundamental reason for marriage, says that the conception of life (the start of reproduction) requires two living beings to become united (male and female). (Gen. 2:24) Again, this organic truth has applied from the birth of time until God shuts down Temporal Time and erases Temporary Matter. What will remain? You know. The Spirit and all He has reproduced through Creation.
The seed, then, is a special feature or potentiality granted to special beings that were designed by their Creator to multiply themselves as they are. The creation of plants and animals even before humans were created gives us the right order in which divine wisdom proceeds in the material world, a truth we can apply in the spiritual realm. If God had created humans before there were plants and animals, all they would have seen would be rocks and soil. Imagine Adam seeing only the empty sky and the gray earth, no form of life that would tell him God is a magnificent God and Creator. No food to eat, no fresh air to freshen his lungs and his spirit, and no companionship with lower forms of life to comfort or inspire his soul. God did not even do that to animals which needed grass and fruits to eat even within a single day of living. Here, doggie, wait before I create plants tomorrow, then you can eat! Plants, on the other hand, had everything they needed to exist and survive – sunlight, water, minerals and nutrients from the ground.
Consider how plants feed animals and humans through their photosynthetic ability to harness light and produce food. It would be much later on when animals would serve the same benefit to humans as food. But in the beginning, humans and animals ate only organic plant food. It was also at about the same time that animals learned to eat their own animal kind – and even humans. But that is another story which Noah knew so well, a sad one which he sought to revise.
So, where does this lead us in our discussion?
First, we must emphasize that when God created all things, He saw all things as “very good”. (Gen. 1:31) From celestial bodies to our planet and its physical features to the moon and to the stars that formed the outer reaches of the Universe, all things made up a magnificent and perfect divine handiwork that God bequeathed to humans as guardians — and owners, no less. As God’s virtual children and inheritors at the beginning of time, humans were not only made in the image or “goodness” of God but also given the role of reproducing all that goodness according to the very same principles God had placed within Creation and within their very being – their bodies, souls, minds and spirits. The “Good Life” which humans received God had planned and desired to reproduce and replicate not just on Earth but upon the other planets and even beyond the reaches of the Solar System. Imagine how super-humans in the likeness of Adam and Eve (in their unfallen state, that is) would have been able to reproduce the Garden of Eden over the entire planet. Why else would God command Adam to care for the Garden if not to allow it to grow, to reproduce and to spread all over the whole planet? And what would have stopped Adam and Eve and their children to conquer the whole solar system and form Eden-like colonies, and beyond?
We have lived and thought all this time within our fallen state – and in our limited mental and spiritual capacities – that we have not really seen the potential that God put into our being and in all the things that came with it, that is, with Creation. (Mark 12:24-25) The potentiality that God placed within us does not only include the seed-potentiality to reproduce our own kind, which is to bear children in our own image. That is the basic material potentiality, power or capability that plants and animals also have in order to allow more food and creatures to populate this planet — and other planets, as some have come to believe with the growing population and supposed diminishing resources. God, the Divine Spirit from Whom all things come from, precisely conceived, created and commanded His Creation to grow and to perpetuate without limit within His unlimited physical Universe in order to give us an example of our own potentiality to create — or form, that is – and to have “dominion . . . over all the earth” according to His will and His laws. The Earth, it appears, is but the “seed planet” of other planets which we could have colonized or upon which we could have also established righteous dominion.
Reproducing our own humanity through bearing children may seem an easy task for millions and billions who have done it to this day. However, reproducing our own divinity according to the way God had given it and commanded us to retain is a much harder task. For Adam and Eve failed at the first sight of a single delicious fruit! The simple task was for them to remain as they were – gods or children of God – by remaining pure and faithful; however, someone deceived them to aim for something they already were – “you shall be like God knowing good and evil”. (John 10:33-36)
Remember, God said of all things He had created, “It is good!” The serpent said, “You need to know evil as well to become like God.” The seed that God placed in Creation and in the Garden was a good seed. Even the Forbidden Tree had a good seed. That is why it was delicious. But the command was, “Do not eat!” To eat was to die – the result of eating and choosing to do evil. Perhaps, in the far future when humans would have been mature enough to handle the knowledge or burden of evil, God might have allowed them to eat of it without dying. Take the case of drinking wine or going to war: Would a person have been qualified and benefited to drink wine or fight in a war at the age of 2 or 5 years?
We cannot excuse Adam and Eve’s sin for having been immature babes in life. They were thinking adults when God gave the command, knowing all things that God had done and, in fact, given tasks meant for adults to accomplish. When did a farmer require his 2-year-old child to do gardening work or give names to animals? What parent taught her 5-year-old daughter to “go and multiply”?
Having laid down this scenario or state, we bring ourselves back into our present fallen world and prevailing condition where our original parents would have found themselves in within their future perfect world. That is, if they had not sinned, they would have reached a level of maturity that allowed them to make their Universe a virtual part of Heaven, with no boundary or differentiating properties. For God would have walked continually in a Global Garden or anywhere in their still-perfect world. But God did redeem that same plan He gave to our parents through the work of Christ, did He not? Hence, we are back in the path where they would be had they not sinned at all. That is what redemption means – to bring back things to their former state. Christ is the Way for us who have lost it through Adam.
And since we are children of God through Adam and Eve, our Father in Heaven has given us the same privileges they had and the access to His glory through the redeeming Person – the Second Adam and the Seed of Eve, Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:47-49; Gen. 3:15) When we are born again into God’s Kingdom, through faith in the Person and Power of Christ, we reclaim the rights that our parents received in the beginning. This is what the Gospel actually tells us. And all this is available through the Spirit Who is given to those who believe. Moreover, those who do have the Spirit can then say and call God as “Abba, Father”. Hence, the seed-potentiality given to each believer through Organic Faith in Christ allows us to reproduce the exactly the same rights, abilities and blessings that Adam and Eve had in the Garden. (Rom. 8:14-17)
Knowing and understanding the meaning, characteristics and responsibilities attached to this seed-potentiality requires the help of the Spirit Who takes from Christ and delivers what is Christ’s. (John 16:12-15) The Second Adam allows us entrance into His presence through the guidance and teaching of the Spirit. That is, through His Key of Truth. (Luke 11:52; 1 Cor. 2:10-16) Organic Faith is indeed the Seed of Eternal Life; for the Spirit is the downpayment or the “seed capital” for the perfect fulfillment of God’s promises in “seed form”. We ourselves, individually, are the seed that will produce an Eternal Fruit which God will harvest in the end. Yet, before we become that Fruit, we must bear other fruits which God will also harvest along with us. Let us explain this through an example in Nature which is often unknown and unappreciated by many.
The second largest seed in the plant world is the coconut, next only to the coco de mer. Note that the coconut is neither a fruit nor a nut but a seed, although it can be all of those, loosely speaking. Although most seeds can germinate only in the presence of water or when they are properly buried in the ground, the coconut can germinate in almost any condition because of certain unique characteristics it possesses. It has even colonized beaches throughout the tropics because of its ability to float on the sea and survive for long periods.* How? First, it has a thick covering that allows it to withstand the harshest conditions, such as drought, heat, floods, pests, animals and even humans, and remain alive for a much longer period than other seeds. Its 1-inch-or-more thick husk is impervious to water, heat, decay and even forces that would easily crush other objects, including human skulls. In fact, its husk is used as alternative crash helmets in Asian countries. It takes a sharp bolo to peel away this husk.
And, second, the coconut has a shell that is as hard as wood and tough as horn. This material is the traditional material used by ancient warriors – Lapu-lapu’s warriors wore them and withstood the bullets from Magellan and his soldiers’ muskets. With the husk and the shell, therefore, we ask: What is inside that makes the coconut so special?
Third, the coconut has water, unlike most seeds that must depend on external water sources to germinate. Yes, its own water allows the coconut to germinate within itself without the help of any other agent, other than the Sun and air, of course. Its water is considered the “elixir of life” among the natives in Asia. It was the abundant source of water for the WW2 soldiers, as well as the substitute dextrose for the wounded. Coconut water is organic and pure, as refreshing as water from a mountain spring and full of minerals and electrolytes that can revive the tired, hungry and sick. Those with kidney stones swear to its efficacious curative power. Today coco water is a popular drink available in tetra packs or served fresh from the shell in many mall kiosks or hotels. By the way, it is also made into various forms of desserts and snacks, along with the coconut meat and other additives.
Fourth, there is the coconut meat, a white and initially soft gelatin-like flesh that is sweet and tasty. Rich in minerals, oils and protein, it makes the coconut a complete food source for many starving communities during crisis situations. The mature meat is also used for making flour and various food recipes and snacks that support many thriving business ventures worldwide. Copra, dried coconut meat, is a traditional export product among coconut-producing nations that industrialized importers process to derive oil for food manufacturing and other industrial uses. This meat, about a quarter of a kilo average per coconut or more, allows the seed to germinate and produce a foot-or-more high blade of leaf to sprout in almost any condition or place. Whether you leave a coconut on the dry, rocky beach, a warehouse, a backyard, under the kitchen sink or on the roof deck, it will grow and spread roots until someone decides to bury it in the ground to become a tree. And reproduce its kind!
In short, the coconut is not just a large seed that is organic (coconut farmers do not use fertilizers but leave the trees to grow and bear fruit continually) and designed to endure Nature’s worst conditions in order to propagate and feed and benefit humans in hundreds of ways. The same qualities of this seed we must find in a person who has Organic Faith. The God Who created and planted the first coconut also planted the First Seed (Christ) in the First Fruits on Pentecost Day through the Spirit. The reason that Seed has endured for two thousand years is because, like the coconut seed, the person who faithfully receives Him through an Organic Faith survives like a coconut seed as well. Let us enumerate how.
First, Organic Believers have a wall of protection to protect them from the forces of evil in this world. God’s angels stand ready to guard and protect a child of God. (Heb. 1:13-14) They survive because the Lord looks over them.
Second, an Organic Believer has a thick armor or shell that turns away the darts and spears of the enemies. (Eph. 6:10-18) A believer survives for as long as he or she applies the sword, that is, word of the Spirit in all things. We have amply explained how Spiritual-Word/Spiritual-Truth Combinations facilitate our understanding of Organic Faith in precious articles. We have invincible “weapons of war” from God. Let us use them to fight and win! (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Third, an Organic Believer is filled with the water of Life that springs and flows from the Spirit within the soul to enable the believer to grow and bear fruit unto eternal life. (John 10:10-14; Rev. 22:1)
Fourth, pure, white meat like the coconut’s contain life-sustaining nutrients just as the Organic Believer’s spiritual well-being comes in the form of the pure and white clothing worn through righteous living. The good deeds and good words that stem from one’s Organic Faith bring heavenly blessings that empower the believer to continue working in the Kingdom as a good soldier or good steward should. (Rev. 3:4-6; 7:13-14)
An Organic Believer cannot but reproduce, for the Spirit enables him or her to do so. Yes, unorganic believers also abound at the same time. But the testing of fire and the judgment by divine standards of goodness and perfection will finally determine the actual fruits of our lives. We reproduce because it has been commanded. A coconut has no choice but to reproduce in order to replenish the goodness that it was originally designed to accomplish on this Earth, whether to quench thirst, feed the hungry, heal the sick, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless. And so, each believer must likewise replenish the goodness that is so wanting on our times. (Gal. 5:22-23)
Will God, Christ and the Spirit harvest enough of the goodness they have planted from the beginning until now at the final day? It all depends on what and how we individually plant the Seed of Organic Faith today.
In the next part, we will provide guidelines as to how we must effectively and enthusiastically engage in the vital work of the Spirit before the promised, glorious New Jerusalem finally descends upon us from Heaven.
Photo of Palawan isle courtesy of www.google.com.