Sunday, July 07, 2013

Giving Us Life

Okay all of you Bible students and scholars out there; I've got an important question for you!  I might be setting myself up for trouble by asking this question...but here goes.  Since Adam and Eve "walked with God" in the Garden of Eden, wouldn't that mean that they already knew about what is good?  If correct, then wouldn't it follow that the action of "eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" meant that they chose to disobey God in order to learn evil and how it is the opposite of good? 

I once read a book where the author mentioned that "evil" is "live" written backwards.

Jesus often talked about giving us life - a new life in Him.

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jhn 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Jhn 17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

Jhn 17:2 “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should[fn] give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

Jhn 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I urge all to read the entirety of John 17!

Satan offers the opposite of life - especially when we consider where and how a person will spend his or her life in eternity.

Jesus told us about Satan's schemes as they were recorded in the Bible throughout his 3 year ministry on earth.  The following verse contains the warning of three active words that represent Satan's intentions against God and His creation, "to steal, to kill, and destroy."

John 10:10
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

First, the enemy of our souls comes to steal. Then, he takes it further with the intention to kill.  What's more, he comes to destroy. What does he attempt to destroy? All that is good that comes from God!  Therefore, those who think that the freedom to sin is profitable to them have their priorities seriously wrong and twisted!

Wonderfully, Jesus doesn't end the verse with what the "thief" intends to do.  He informs us that his purpose is to "come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

John 17 (NKJV)

Jesus Prays for Himself
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should [fn] give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, [fn] that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, [fn] I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; [fn] and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will [fn] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

NKJV Footnotes

(17:2) M-Text reads shall. 
(17:11) NU-Text and M-Text read keep them through Your name which You have given Me. 
(17:12) NU-Text omits in the world. 
(17:12) NU-Text reads in Your name which You gave Me. And I guarded them; (or it;). 
(17:20) NU-Text and M-Text omit will.  
Hat tip:  Blue Letter Bible


GMpilot said...

”I might be setting myself up for trouble by asking this question...but here goes. Since Adam and Eve "walked with God" in the Garden of Eden, wouldn't that mean that they already knew about what is good? If correct, then wouldn't it follow that the action of "eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" meant that they chose to disobey God in order to learn evil and how it is the opposite of good?”

I say the answer to that is “no”. There are reasons why, of course, but for the moment I'm just going to sit back and watch the believers slug it out.
Do you believe that is the case?
If so, why do you think you're 'setting [your]self up for trouble'?

Christinewjc said...

Giving a half answer here GM? That's usually not your game. Trying out a new tactic?

Yes. I believe that is the case. Otherwise, why would I have stated it?

The obvious reason why I thought that I might be "setting myself up for trouble" is because the forbidden tree was labeled, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Gen 2:9

And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Gen 2:17

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Gen. 2:9 states that "every tree was pleasant to the sight and good for food. Plus, what would have happened if Adam and Eve HAD CHOSEN TO eat of the tree of life FIRST instead of choosing to sin by disobeying God's directive?

One could argue that the original question I posed could lead the reader to think that "good" was not already known by Adam and Eve. However, my view is that since they "walked with God" before going through with an act of disobedience proves that they did know good. They knew the ultimate good - God himself.

Of course there is room for disagreement on this issue. I hope that my Christian friends share their thoughts on this. I can always learn something from their input. Maybe their arguments will be good enough to change my mind about it.

I shared the same question over at the TEA Party Community. Last time I checked in, 8 people "liked" the statement. Need to go to the site and see if anyone answered the question. It's so busy over there (similar to Face Book) that comments often get overlooked. It is a much nicer community than Face book however. There are a few trolls that show up but they usually give themselves away by their disdain for the community and don't last very long. Good arguments that are presented over there often lead them into resorting to name calling and stop them in their tracks!

Anyway, we shall see if anyone else comes along here and cares to answer the question.

GMpilot said...

Hmmm...36 hours and none of your fellow Christians have responded. It seems the Collective is in one accord on this question.
Allow me to make the dissenting opinion:

I say no, A&E did not know what was “good” merely because they 'walked with God'. They had nothing to compare him with. It's exactly the same as if someone owned one car all his life and never even seen another one, then someone comes up to him and says, “Y'know, my Ford is better than your Nash.”
How would he know that? How could he find out? Take a guess.

How could Adam and Eve 'learn evil' if they didn't even know what it was? God supposedly told them that if they ate the fruit of that particular tree, they would die. But did the First Couple even know what death was? Did God kill something in front of them and say something like ”This is death. This creature will nevermore breathe, nor eat; it will never get up and move again. It will lie here, and stink, the worms will devour it, and it will rot away into the earth. This is what will happen to you if you should eat the fruit of that tree.”*
Every Christian I've ever known assures me that Eden was a place where there was no death (although they can't tell me how they know that).
God didn't tell A&E that eating the fruit was evil; he didn't tell them that eating it would displease him; he simply told them that they would die. If the First Couple had no concept of death, what could that warning possibly mean to them?

I'm certainly not the first one to have thought of this, and I suspect that many thoughtful believers have entertained that possibility, before they shook it off as a snare of Satan, or some such rubbish.

OK, I've poked the giant with a stick. Let's see what happens now.

*Contrary to what has often been written here, God made no distinction between a physical death and a spiritual one, either.

Christinewjc said...

In the mountain of comments over at the TEA Party Community site, only two people there responded to my question.

William S. wrote:

"The thing is they had the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose knowledge, or more appropriately they chose to become gods themselves. By disobeying God they placed themselves above God. They could have chosen life instead they chose death. It is a scenario played out everyday now.
Man says that they have gotten rid of God through science. They see nothing greater than themselves. They are fools and are only deceiving themselves. Charles Darwin did not find evidence that moved him away from God. He chose to interpret the evidence in such a way to take God out of the equation. He said there is no God, than he gave a narrative that fit the scenario of no God. He was seeking a way to put himself on God's throne. Everyone who denies God makes themselves a god. It is a repeat of the original sin over and over again. King Salomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Boy, that is so very true."


"Raising" wrote,
"Eve came from the flesh of Adam knew better...Eve on the other hand was "seduced"...think on that one?"


Two valid points!

GMpilot said...

It's not easy to get so many things wrong in so few sentences, but William S. has managed it.
Gaining knowledge is not the same as becoming a god, as even he belatedly realized. “My people perish for lack of knowledge” is a favorite quote in some circles, I'm told.
Nor has man 'gotten rid of God through science'; but science has made God's stomping grounds smaller. No one now sacrifices an ox or a daughter in order to seek the favor of this God.
Darwin never said that there is no God. He just couldn't find a way to justify the way some creatures behave in a divinely-made world: “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.”
All Darwin did was question—and a belief that cannot withstand questioning is probably a belief not worth holding.

Perhaps you should invite him over here. Nobody here seems to care about this topic, except you and I, and I know you don't care for my interest in it.

Christinewjc said...

I thought that William's answer was very good. My response was:

"We can't forget the fact that satan lied and tempted them into believing that knowing both good and evil would make them not just "like God," but they would become gods themselves. Boy were THEY wrong! Gen. 2:9 states that "every tree was pleasant to the sight and good for food." Plus, what would have happened if Adam and Eve HAD CHOSEN TO eat of the tree of life FIRST instead of choosing to sin by disobeying God's directive? And I agree - this scenario of choosing life or death plays out each day.

Darwinism is such a scam! It took the guy who "discovered" the fake fossil called "Piltdown man" over 40 years to learn the mistake that he spent most of his adult life believing in as "proof" of macro-evolution!"

I wrote the part about the man putting his "faith" in a fake fossil, (and then finding out that it was in fact a big hoax forty+ years later) to demonstrate that people can (and do) put their faith into all sorts of ideas...many of which are huge errors in judgment.

Perhaps the regular readers here haven't visited this post yet. It hasn't been up very long. Sometimes, a post can still be read and commented on days, weeks, months, or even years later.

One example of this is the post entitled Harassed By American Community Survey People?

When people do a search on any given topic, some particular Talk Wisdom posts pop up on the first page of a search and people read about it during a time that it interests them.

Perhaps this topic doesn't interest many readers. Perhaps people have chosen not to share their thoughts online anymore because of all the snooping that the government has been doing. Who knows?

So, I just write what I feel like discussing and whomever comes along to read can choose to enter into the conversation... or not. I get many "readers only" as indicated by my histats records. However, I'm not one of the "big blogs" out there that gets millions of viewers. I just try and do my part for the reasons stated in my blog header.


Christinewjc said...

We all can "question God," but in the end, "He is God and I am not" is my attitude. My study of the Bible led me to place my faith in Jesus Christ. Since then, He has shown me many awesome things - both literally, figuratively, spiritually and in some brief instances, physically as I live my life on this earth.

Unlike you, I think that science is a gift from God, but science is always trying to "catch up to God" in wisdom and knowledge. IMHO, all of us living on this side of heaven who hold beliefs counter to God's written Word, the Bible; His Living Word, Jesus Christ; and the Helper and Comforter who indwells the hearts of believers see science as their "choice" for a god in their lives. It is only, in actuality, a discipline that can NEVER trump God!

Well, sorry for going so far off topic. I STILL think that because Adam and Eve "walked with God" and knew Him as good in their lives, as well as the fruit of the trees being good for their consumption, it only follows logically that they knew what was good, they only were directed to avoid one tree, and they chose to eat of it in disobedience to God instead of reaching out to eat of the Tree of Life which reappears in Scripture in the book of Revelation at the culmination of history.

Rev 2:7

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” '

Rev 22:2

In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 22:14

Blessed are those who do His commandments,[fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

GMpilot said...

“He is God and I am not.” conversely, “I am me, and God is not.” That's not a boast, only a fact.

Your argument hinges on the belief that A&E did know that God was good. Again, who was there for comparison? If a child is born and grows up in the DPRK, he 'knows' that there is no freedom, no happiness, nothing worthy or eternal outside of Korea...and having nothing to compare it to, will always believe that. All those soldiers on the frontiers are there because the people in the lands beyond are jealous of their success, and wish to destroy all that they have made.

You cannot make an informed decision if you don't even know another viewpoint exists.
Did A&E know what death was?
Did God have any idea that the humans would not obey him? (He already new that such a thing was possible, having supposedly battled Lucifer in the Time Before Time, when the world didn't exist...)

We went over this same ground a long time ago.
For a God who can see the future, he hasn't behaved that way. He didn't foresee that Lucifer would rebel; he placed that deadly tree in Eden and really believed that the First Couple wouldn't eat from it; didn't foresee that things would eventually get so bad that he would have to drown the world in an attempt to correct it—but we're supposed to believe that he's got it all under control. I have my doubts.

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."
Sixty-six books later, he's changed his mind. Guess he didn't foresee that either.

Christinewjc said...

We have debated about this quite a few times and neither one of us will change each others mind.

As usual, you skipped over my observation that Adam and Eve COULD HAVE eaten from the tree of life and lived forever; but chose to disobey God. Therefore, God did not want them to eat of the tree of life at that time because they would have lived forever in a state of sin.

I will say that God foresees all and doesn't change His mind. It is the human being that can't see the beginning to the end, and unrepentant man changes his mind with much frequency (you did, for example); and even would change his mind from something as simple as just the rustle of the wind.

GMpilot said...

You have a fine talent for stating the obvious. As you say, neither one of us will change each others' mind, but we still try, for the sake of our unseen audience.

After the fruit was eaten, God kicked his little companions out of Eden and cursed 'em, and placed an angel with a lightsaber to keep them out. I've mentioned that if that angel had been on duty earlier, that the serpent might not have gotten IN, and the whole 'disobey' thing would never have occurred. Or, he could have placed the angel at the tree, and gotten the same result.
You're the one who insists that God can see the future; why couldn't he have seen that? You keep ignoring that question.

Either the Lord of the Universe really can't see the future—his creations keep surprising him—or he set things up to happen exactly the way he wanted them.

Sure I've changed my mind. So have you. Thirty years ago you preferred version C of God; now you prefer version E. Behold; that's one thing you can do that your God can't. As for me, I took “none of the Above”.

Christinewjc said...

God did see what they would choose. He sees history from the beginning to the end. Prophecies that have already transpired (as well as the future ones to be fulfilled in the end times) proves this view. Even though God knew that they would choose wrongly, He gave them the choice to so do. We all have the same choice.

God solved the problem of evil through Jesus Christ. We are now still in the realm of mercy and grace. All must choose which gate they will enter into eternity.

AFAIC, being brought up Catholic helped me to see the flaws in the religion. Through Bible study, Jesus found and rescued me, and I accepted his invitation. The need to be born-again in Christ is shared by Jesus Himself in Scripture. It's not a religion - but a relationship. One must repent first, accept the gift of salvation and answer Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?"

Peter got it right. So did I.

You will have to live with your eternal decision, too.

GMpilot said...

You really love using that 'eternity' club, don't you? Well, you can't threaten me with it. Millions of people who long for eternity don't even know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I hope for your sake that you're not one of those people.

”It's not a religion - but a relationship.” Horse puckey! In no relationship I've ever had have I been expected to worship the other party, to acknowledge them as sovereign, to accept their 'gift' or be forever sanctioned for not accepting it.
If that sort of relationship appeals to you, have at it.

But I thought the subject of this thread was what God supposedly did/didn't, not Jesus. Then again, you wrote ”God solved the problem of evil through Jesus Christ,”, so maybe that's why God set that fatal trap of the Tree of Knowledge in the first place—to give Jesus something to do later.

The real Problem of Evil is “where did it come from?” Since God is credited with having created everything, and Biblical texts support this view, this includes 'evil'; you cannot blame some serpent for it.
Not only did Adam and Eve not know what evil was, they didn't know what it could do. They learned that only after it was too late.

It's been fun, but three days have passed, so I'm gonna give it a rest and let some of your fellow believers step up to the plate. It'll be fun to observe doctrinal disagreements not made by me.