Trees of Life and Evil in the Soul


Assumptions of the Tree of Life
Assumptions of the Tree of Evil
Assumption Complex
Finding the Hidden Things


Rational thought is preceded by assumptions.  Assumptions are suppositions, claims, or ideas that are accepted without proof.  They are the underpinnings of thought that are taken for granted.  They may be true or false, valid or invalid.  Bad assumptions can lead to foolish blunders, while good assumptions can lead to great achievements.

Assumptions are like the part of the iceberg that is below water, while thoughts are like the visible part. Not much about an iceberg is known if only the visible part is considered.  What lies beneath the surface is larger and more important.  The same goes for understanding people.  What a person says may be a self-righteous façade, while the real person remains hidden in his assumptions.  The assumptions indicate where the person is coming from and where he intends to go.  Words and deeds may be devious and deceptive.

However, not only are assumptions hidden to others, they are usually not even apparent to the person who holds them.  So, in spite of their importance, they are usually taken for granted by their owner and oblivious to others.  Recognizing a person's assumptions may require astute observation over a long period of time.  Fortunately, there are clues and help from God, who knows all things.

Assumptions may be Good or Evil.  Consequently, they may be linked to God or to Satan and his Cosmic System.  They may lead to the thinking of the Tree of Life or the Tree of Evil.  When a believer is not filled with the Holy Spirit, the assumptions will be tainted by the Old Sin Nature and the Cosmic System.  And the believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit will have help identifying Good and Evil assumptions.  However, the Holy Spirit will not override a person's volition.  The believer is free to go along with bad assumptions even when filled with the Holy Spirit.

Bad assumptions lead to bad decisions, which wreck the Spiritual life.  Assumptions may produce Hardness of the Heart and hinder the Spiritual life.  This explains why some students of Bible Doctrine with the best of teaching never advance to maturity in the Spiritual life.

2 Timothy 3:7
Always learning but never able to come to the epignosis-knowledge of doctrine.
Christians with Hardness of the Heart from their own bad assumptions may be distracted or hindered from learning and applying doctrine.  They do not have the epignosis-knowledge of doctrine in the right lobe of the soul where it is understood spiritually.  In spite of having a good notebook, they lack the power of the Christian life.  Their problem is their assumptions, which have choked out their Spiritual life.

John addressed the problem of believers who had no love for needy brethren.

1 John 3:17-19
17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother having need and shuts off his compassion from him, how can the Love from God be abiding in him?
18 Little children, let us not be loving in word nor in speech, but in deed and truth (doctrine).
19 In this we shall know that we are from the source of the truth, and before Him we shall rest assured in our heart.
Christians who have the Love from God in their hearts will also love their fellow man.  When a believer is hardened toward a person in need, especially a Christian, the Love from God has been blocked out.  This may be due to sin or a hardened heart.  Bad assumptions can harden the heart and block love.  In contrast, love is operational in the doctrinal believer, who is from the source of the truth (Bible Doctrine).  The heart of the doctrinal believer is not choked with bad assumptions.  He has a Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA).  He rests assured in his heart.  "Rest assured" is the Greek peivqw (peitho), which means to set at ease or rest; satisfy; depend on, trust in, put one's confidence in; rest assured.  We rest assured in our heart because we are in agreement with God.  This is confidence from a Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA) and rest from our works (Heb 4:10-11).
1 John 3:20
Because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.
"If our heart condemns us" means our heart is not in agreement with God.  This may be apparent from emotional revolt, carnality, darkness, pressure, or some other indicator from the Holy Spirit that we have a problem.  Even if our heart condemns us, we can agree with God's position in the matter.  We can accept the will of God, since God is greater, and He knows everything (Matt 26:42).  God is omnipotent and omniscient.  Therefore, we can trust Him.  When we reject our own erroneous thinking and accept God's viewpoint, we can have peace of mind.
1 John 3:21
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence face-to-face with God.
James addressed the same problem of believers not being willing to help those in need (James 2:15-16).  The reason believers won't help those in need is due to Hardness of the Heart, which comes from bad assumptions.  A person with a hardened heart may be insensitive to the needs of others.  Hardness of the Heart chokes out love and compassion.

Assumptions of the Tree of Life

Assumptions about God lead to the thinking of the Tree of Life.  "The fear (respect) for the Lord leads to Life" (Prov 19:23a).  As the disciple learns about God, he stores away knowledge, understanding, wisdom, beliefs, hopes, and desires, all of which may arise to become assumptions to fuel future thinking of the Tree of Life.  Bible Doctrine stored in the soul can elicit future assumptions.  Therefore, the Bible is a good source for discovering the fundamental assumptions that lead to the thinking of the Tree of Life.

Since the thinking of Bible characters was motivated by assumptions, examining the events in their lives is a way to discover their assumptions.  Hopefully, dredging up some examples of the assumptions leading to the thinking of the Tree of Life will be useful in learning how to spot underlying assumptions.

Divine viewpoint thinking of the Tree of Life is derived from assumptions about some of the basic values of life, such as money, honey (sex), friends, power, materialism, jobs, fear, and happiness.  For example, the assumption that money is the solution to most problems leads to the thinking about the love of money in the Tree of Evil.  However, the assumption that money has no lasting value leads to the thinking about riches in glory and Eternal rewards in the Tree of Life.


 Job's friends assumed that his suffering was due to guilt from some sin.
 Job assumed he was justified (Job 27:5-6; 32:2)
Abraham sacrificing Isaac (Gen 22:1-18)
X-axis assumed God was right (Heb 11:17, 19)
Y-axis loved God more than Isaac, his only son (Gen 22:12).
Z-axis assumed he should obey God (Gen 22:12).
David assumed idolatry was vain (Psa 31:6), as did Jonah (Jon 2:8)


  • Correctly assumed that God would have mercy, but then assumed he could run away from God (Jonah 4:2).
  • Assumed correctly that the storm was due to him (Jon 1:12).
  • Assumed Ninevites were evil and the enemy of Israel and he should be bitter toward them (Jon 4:1).
  • Jesus Christ in His Humanity The LORD - knows reasoning of the wise (1 Cor 3:20)

    Relationship with God respect, honor, love, obey (Deut 10:12; Psa 111:10; 147:11; Psa 19:23; Eccl 12:13)

    John the Baptist - answered people's private reasonings (Luk 3:15-16)


  • Assumption do not trust in riches or robbery (Psa 62:10).
  • Futility of riches (Job 27:19).
  • Honey (Sex)
  • Shulammite assumptions about her Right Man (SOS 5:10-16; 6:1-3).
  • Assumption beauty is inferior to Grace (Prov 31:30; Jer 4:30).
  • Assumptions reject the strange woman and adulteress and their self-righteous flattering (Prov 2:16; 7:5).
  • Power
    Assumption help should come from the Lord, not man (Psa 60:11; 127:1; Isa 31:1; Jer 17:5)
    Vanity, dead works, human good
  •  Human good (Eccl 1:14)
  •  Man's labor (Eccl 2:11, 22-23; 4:8)
  •  Education (Eccl 2:15, 19)
  •  Legacy, inheritance (Job 27:13, 16-17; Prov 13:22; 28:8; Eccl 2:21)
  •  Dying (Eccl 3:19)
  •  Competition (Eccl 4:4)
  • Assumptions of the Tree of Evil

    Assumptions that lead to the thinking in the Tree of Evil include human viewpoint, wordly desires, and fallacies that lead to sin, evil, and dead works (Matt 15:19; Mk 7:21-22; Gal 5:19-21).  Carnal believers as well as unbelievers may have these assumptions.

    Abraham in Egypt

     Assumed the Egyptians would kill him because of Sarah's beauty (Gen 12:12).
    Abraham with No Heir
  •  Assumed he could get an heir through Hagar (Gen 16:3).
  •  Assumed God would not provide an heir; so he would choose Eliezer (Gen 15:2).
  •  Assumed that he and Sarah couldn't have children (Gen 17:17-18; 18:12)
  • Achan assumed he could hide the gold and silver in violation of God's command (Josh 7:21)


  • Rich young ruler assumptions about love of money (Luk 18:22-23)
  • Business assumptions (Jas 4:13)
  • Love of money (Eccl 5:10, Psa 62:10)
  • Curse of not being able to enjoy one's possessions (Eccl 6:2)
  • Jeremiah unbelief, lack of faith like Jonah (Jer 20:7).

    Honey (Sex)

    - Reuben assumed he could commit adultery with his father's concubine and not be discovered (Gen 35:22).
    - Assumptions about desirability of adultery  (Prov 7:5, 21)
    - Solomon assumptions about Shulammite (SOS 4:9-15; 5:1)
    - Assumptions of desirability of lusts of the flesh and licentiousness (2 Pet 2:18).

    2 Peter 2:18
    For you see, bellowing bombastic words of vanity, they entice by lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who barely escape from those who live in error.

    Self-Righteous Snobs
  •  Cater to friends and hate enemies (Eccl 4:14-16)
  •  Use their friends and attack their enemies (Psa 28:3; 55:21; Prov 29:5)
  •  Flatter with lies, innuendo, and half-truths and malign with the same.
  • Samson assumed he could trust the Prostitute of Babylon (his bride and Delilah) (Judg 14:16-17; 16:18-21)

    Rachel assumed that mandrakes would make her fertile (Gen 30:14-15)

    David assumptions about Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:2-4)

  •  Assumed he could blame Bathsheba's pregnancy on Uriah (2 Sam 11:8-13)
  •  Assumed that he could get away with murder (2 Sam 11:14-15)
  • Human Good X-axis
    Pharisees whitewashed tombs with dead men's bones inside (Matt 23:27)
    Authority Z-axis
    Exodus generation assumed they could disobey God (Heb 3:18; 4:6); assumed they could divorce (Matt 19:8)

    Assumption Complex

    The Assumption Complex includes assumptions, secrets, conjecture, mysteries, covert meaning,  and the meaning at the bottom of a thing.  Since assumptions are hidden, they are taken for granted.  Seldom are they ever questioned until some embarrassing mistake is made.  Gaining Spiritual wisdom demands knowledge of assumptions and the hidden things.  Going only by what is seen is like looking at the tip of an iceberg, ninety percent of which is below water.  To truly understand a thing, the underlying assumptions must be known.  Assumptions are part of the support structure for paradigms and systems of thought. People and paradigms are no stronger than their assumptions.  Therefore, finding the underlying assumptions is necessary for wisdom.

    Some of the basic assumptions found in scripture are listed.  Since English translations are often inaccurate, some of the definitions of terms in the original languages are given along with corrected translations.


    1.  Greek uJpolambavnw, (hupolambano) = assume, suppose (Acts 2:15, Luk 7:43)
    2.  Greek poievw, (poieo) (assume, Matt 12:33a)

    Either assume the tree good and its fruit good, or assume the tree bad (evil) and its fruit bad (evil); for the tree is known by its fruit.  (Matthew 12:33)
    3.  Greek uJponoevw, (huponoeo) (Dan 7:25, intend; Acts 13:25, regard as; Acts 25:18, suspect; Acts 27:27, assume)
    4.  Greek uJpovnoia, (huponoia) (Dan 5:6; 1 Ti 6:4) = secret opinion; what one thinks inwardly, especially conjecture, unfounded opinion, imagination, illusion2; the real meaning which lies at the bottom of a thing, covert meaning (such as is conveyed by myths and allegories), by insinuation, (GES)
    Greek uJpovnoiai ponhraiv, (huponoiai ponerai) (1 Tim 6:4, "evil suspicions"), means "evil intrigues  and common insinuations," which are personal attacks on opponents in disputes to discredit them "in every possible way and to magnify themselves."2
    Scripture:  Assumptions (Mk 6:49; Luk 2:44; Acts 7:25; 13:25; 14:19; 16:13, 27; 21:29; 23:9; 27:13; 1 Cor 3:18; 8:2; Gal 6:3; 1 Tim 6:5)


    Covert (Acts 6:11; 16:37; Gal 2:4; 2 Pet 2:1) Hidden (Deut 22:1, 4; Psa 27:5; 31:20; 64:2; Isa 45:3; Mk 4:22; Rom 16:25)

    Secret (Ex 7:11; Deut 13:6; 29:29; Josh 2:1; Ruth 3:7; Job 11:6; 31:27; Psa 44:21; 64:5; 90:8; 101:5; Prov 20:19; Isa 28:17; Ezek 28:3; Matt 6:4, 6, 18; Jn 7:4, 10; 11:28; 18:20; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 14:25; Phil 4:12)

    Private (Prov 11:13; 25:9; Eph 5:12)

    Confidential (Psa 25:14; Am 3:7)

    Covered, disguised (Gen 24:65; 38:14-15)

    Insidious (Greek kubeiva (kubeia) Eph 4:14) Insidious threats to riches:  moths, tarnish, corrosion, thieves (Matt 6:19; Luk 12:33; Jas 5:2-3).  The moths were insidious threats because they were hard to spot (TDNT).

    Concealed (2 Ki 4:27; Job 29:21; Luk 11:44; surreptitious, Jude 4).

    Mystery (Job 12:22; Dan 2:18-19, 27-30, 47; 4:9; Matt 13:11; Luk 8:10; Rom 11:25; Rom 16:25; 1 Cor 2:710; Eph 3:35, 9; Col 1:26-27; 2 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 3:16; Rev 10:7; 17:5, 7)

    Depth of wisdom (Job 11:7; Eccl 7:24; Rom 11:33).

    Finding the Hidden Things

    In order to discover the hidden things (the part of the iceberg that is below water), various analytical skills must be employed.  This corresponds to learning to perceive spiritual things, which are also hidden (2 Cor 4:18).  A list of techniques for discovering the hidden things follows.

    Uncover (Jer 49:10; Isa 45:3; Ezek 16:57; 21:24; 23:18, 29; Hos 2:10; 7:1; Am 9:3)

    Break, divide, differentiate, cut (Psa 2:9; Dan 2:40; Hos 1:5; Mic 2:13; Nah 1:13; Zech 11:10, 14; Luk 5:6; Jn 21:11; Rev 2:27)

    Combine, categorize, add, multiply, integrate (Gen 2:2, 3; 3:16; Ex 7:3; 20:11; Eccl 7:27; Isa 30:1; 40:23; Ezek 16:25; Acts 2:47; 5:14; 1 Cor 6:16; Eph 4:12-13, 16; Jas 4:6; Jude 2)

    Comparison (Matt 10:29, 31; Jn 15:12-13)

    Dig up (Prov 16:27)

    Finding, Discovering (Ex 2:4; Num 32:23; Deut 4:29; Judg 14:12; 16:9; Ezra 4:15, 19; Job 11:7; 34:11; Psa 21:8; 44:20-21; Prov 1:28; 3:13; 6:32-33; 8:17, 35; 18:22; 24:14; 28:23; 31:10; Eccl 7:24-27; 8:17; SOS 3:1-2; Jer 2:26; 5:1; 6:16; 29:13; Dan 6:4-5; Am 8:12; Matt 7:7-8, 14; 10:39; 11:29; 13:46; 16:25; Mk 14:55; Jn 10:9; Rom 7:21; 1 Cor 4:19; 1 Thess 3:5; Heb 4:16; Jude 16)

    Discerning (Gen 41:33, 39; Psa 19:12; Prov 7:7; 10:13; 14:7; Eccl 9:11; Hos 14:9; Matt 16:3; Heb 5:14)

    Fire Testing, Refining3(Prov 17:3; Isa 48:10; Jer 6:29; 9:7; Zech 12:6; 13:9; Mal 3:2-3; 1 Cor 3:13; 1 Pet 1:7; Rev 3:18)

    Metaphors, similes, symbolism (Matt 13:3-52; 26:39; Luk 22:20; Jn 15:1, 5)

    Overturn (Job 9:5; 28:9; Matt 21:12)

    Pulling up (Isa 33:20; 38:12)

    Search (Deut 4:29; Prov 2:4; Jer 17:10; Rom 8:27; Rev 2:23)

    Shining Light (Jer 23:24; Jn 1:5; 2 Cor 4:6)

  • Enlighten (Ezra 9:8; Job 33:30; Psa 13:3; 19:8; Jn 1:9; Heb 10:32)
  • Expose (Psa 90:8; Lam 4:22; Isa 47:3; Jer 13:22; Ezek 16:37; Hos 2:3; Hab 2:16; Jn 3:20; Eph 5:11, 13)
  • Reveal (Gen 35:7; Deut 29:29; 1 Sam 3:7, 21; 14:8, 11; 1 Chron 17:25; Job 12:22; 38:17; Psa 19:2; 98:2; Isa 40:5; 53:1; Dan 2:19-47; Matt 10:26; Luk 10:21-22; 17:30; Jn 12:38; Rom 1:17-18; 8:18-19; 16:25; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 12:7; Eph 3:3-5; Col 3:4; 1 Pet 1:7, 13; Rev 3:18)
  • Spiritual Sight (Rom 8:24; 1 Cor 2:14-15; 4:18; 2 Cor 5:7; Heb 11:1)

    Threshing (Psa 126:6; Prov 20:26; Isa 21:10; Dan 2:35; Mic 4:12-13; Matt 3:12; Luk 3:17)

    Undermine (Psa 82:5; Ezek 13:14; 30:4; Micah 1:6)

    Uproot (Deut 29:28; 1 Ki 14:15; 2 Chron 7:20; Job 19:10; Ps 52:5; Prov 2:22; Eccl 3:2; Jer 12:14-17; Ezek 17:9; Dan 7:9; Matt 15:13; Jude 12)

    Washout (Job 22:16; Luk 6:49)

    God knows the hidden (Psa 19:12; 90:8; Pr 5:21; Eccl 12:14)

    Living with the Tree of Evil

    Grace Approach to Living with the Tree of Evil
    Dealing with Problems of the Tree of Evil

    Grace Approach to Living with the Tree of Evil

    Since the believer is stuck with the Tree of Evil just as he is stuck with the Old Sin Nature, he must learn to deal with it.  The approach that must be employed to prevent the Tree of Evil from gaining an upper hand, is Grace.  Living in Grace allows the Tree of Life to prosper and keeps the Tree of Evil in the background.

    The principles in the Grace approach to living with the Tree of Evil are as follows:

    1.  The Tree of Evil is part of the soul.
         a.  It cannot be removed in this life.
         b.  It will be left behind at death or the Rapture.
         c.  It will be burned up at the Evaluation Throne of Christ (Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 3:13-15; 4:5).
    2.  The Tree of Life is the Grace alternative to the Tree of Evil.
         a.  God supports the Tree of Life.
         b.  Satan supports the Tree of Evil.
    3.  Both trees coexist in the soul of the believer (Rom 7:25; Gal 5:17).
         a.  The Tree of Life is tied to the new Spiritual life (Rom 8:2).
         b.  The Tree of Evil is tied to spiritual death (Rom 7:19-24).
    4.  The Tree of Life grows through executing the Spiritual life, and the Tree of Evil grows through executing the desires of the flesh (OSN).
    5.  The Tree of Life is blessing, and the Tree of Evil is cursing.
    6.  The purpose of the new Spiritual life, as symbolized by the Tree of Life, is to Love God and the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 22:37; Eph 3:17, 19) and execute God's command (Jn 14:23-24; 2 Tim 2:21; 3:17; Heb 13:21); the purpose is not to whitewash the Tree of Evil.
    7.  However, the Tree of Evil hinders the new Spiritual life and thwarts God's Plan for the believer (2 Cor 5:2, 4).
    8.  Therefore, it is necessary to deal with problems of the Tree of Evil and problems in the Cosmic System.  In the Arrogance skills and Hardness of the Heart the believer is blind to his problems.  The Holy Spirit must direct the believer in these cases (Rom 8:26).

    Dealing with Problems of the Tree of Evil

    The problems of the Tree of Life are legion.  Isolating and dealing with the problems requires more than human ability.  God's help must be sought to understand the problems and the solution.  The Holy Spirit is ready to lead and guide the believer.  So, rather than trying to look up the problem in the list of sins or assumptions, let the Holy Spirit be the guide.  He will reveal the issues and set the priorities.  The guidelines for enlisting God's help in Grace are as follows:

    1.  Rebound and deploy the Problem Solving Devices.
    2.  Resist the devil (1 Pet 5:9; Jas 4:7).
    3.  Prayer put the problem in God's hands (Phil 4:6-7).
    4.  God knows the hidden (Psa 19:12; 44:21; 90:8; Eccl 12:14; Jer 16:17 23:24; Heb 4:12-13; 1 Jn 3:18-22) and all man's failures (Psa 10:11 50:21 139:1-4; Job 34:21; Eze 8:12).
    5.  God searches the heart (Ps 7:9; 26:2; 139:1; Jer 11:20; 17:10; Luke 16:15; Rom 8:27; Rev 2:23).
    6.  God will help us in Grace (Heb 4:16).
    7.  The Holy Spirit will lead us (Rom 8:26).
    8.  The Lord Jesus Christ will intercede for us (Rom 8:34).


    1. Larry Wood.  Scar Tissue of the Soul, Sept. 29, 2011.
    2.  Vol. 4: Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.), p. 1019. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
    3.  Larry Wood.  Fire Testing, August 15, 1998.

    Released October 4, 2012 - Revised June 21, 2014

    Author: Larry Wood


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