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The Tree In The Center of The Garden

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  • The Tree In The Center of The Garden

    Genesis 2: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Interested in discussing the Tree of Life that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden.

    What does scripture indicate was Godís purpose.
    What effect did it have on Godís creation.
    How important was Godís placement in the garden.
    What did Godís prohibition of eating from the tree establish
    Was the tree physical different from the other trees of itís kind?

  • #2
    Where was there a prohibition of eating from the tree of life? You seem to be conflating two trees here.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
      Where was there a prohibition of eating from the tree of life? You seem to be conflating two trees here.
      I think it's a typo given the verse he puts at the beginning of his post.

      Comment


      • #4
        It was put there to give them a choice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
          Where was there a prohibition of eating from the tree of life? You seem to be conflating two trees here.
          Yes perhaps I misunderstood. The statement though was, "Interested in discussing the Tree of Life that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden." If that is the case I will just go with Sparko.

          If we attribute omniscience to God (which of course I do) that clearly indicates that He knew what the outcome would be. That means that Christ did not come to repair a flaw in creation (and I have often heard such an interpretation) but to fulfill God's perfect plan for His creation. The fulness of that plan is not given too us, only what we need to know.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
            Yes perhaps I misunderstood. The statement though was, "Interested in discussing the Tree of Life that God placed in the center of the Garden of Eden." If that is the case I will just go with Sparko.
            You did not misunderstand what was written, I did make a mistake. Sparko is correct...

            If we attribute omniscience to God (which of course I do) that clearly indicates that He knew what the outcome would be. That means that Christ did not come to repair a flaw in creation (and I have often heard such an interpretation) but to fulfill God's perfect plan for His creation. The fulness of that plan is not given too us, only what we need to know.
            I personally have a problem integrating the supernatural aspects of God's omniscience with the natural aspects of knowledge in creation. It is very unclear to me how God utilizes his omniscience when dealing with freewill and choice.

            The tree in the center of the garden, was it essentially the same as all the other trees or was it made to be more tempting than the others? I do agree with Sparko that the purpose in creation for the tree was to establish choice, it also provided the means for disobedience in creation...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
              I personally have a problem integrating the supernatural aspects of God's omniscience with the natural aspects of knowledge in creation. It is very unclear to me how God utilizes his omniscience when dealing with freewill and choice.
              It is my opinion that our inability to come close to comprehending this is the root of a lot of confusion. I do not have the foggiest idea how to handle it. I am convinced that both free will and predestination are correct.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                It is my opinion that our inability to come close to comprehending this is the root of a lot of confusion. I do not have the foggiest idea how to handle it. I am convinced that both free will and predestination are correct.
                I do not believe that there are any challenges to predestination if one maintains the contextual integrity of the passages that refer to it. Scripture is very specific as to whom and when predestination can be scripturally applied. Predestination never challenges the concept of predestination...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                  I do not believe that there are any challenges to predestination if one maintains the contextual integrity of the passages that refer to it. Scripture is very specific as to whom and when predestination can be scripturally applied. Predestination never challenges the concept of predestination...
                  I think you mean free will never challenges the concept of predestination. If that is the case, I agree fully. "Free will and predestination are not mutually exclusive," has long been my stance on the subject.
                  Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                    I think you mean free will never challenges the concept of predestination. If that is the case, I agree fully. "Free will and predestination are not mutually exclusive," has long been my stance on the subject.
                    Predestination states that those that "are" saved are pre destined to be conformed into the image of Christ. It is confined to that concept.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                      I think you mean free will never challenges the concept of predestination. If that is the case, I agree fully. "Free will and predestination are not mutually exclusive," has long been my stance on the subject.
                      It does not challenge the concept of freewill in the natural realm, still it is a foregone inescapable conclusion in the spiritual realm. It is the fate of all of those saved by Christ in the spiritual realm... Not a choice then...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What about that tree? Was Adams temptation to eat from it more tempting than eating from all the other trees in the garden.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This study may help with the question of what the purpose of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. a good tree, as was everything God created, was. It is an endeavour to clarify a few ambiguous teachings, to follow them to their logical conclusions, as they seem to have been left unresolved, with negative results. It was ignited by a curious question posed by Arminian in his TWeb blog post, The Romans Clearinghouse.

                          “Did the believers who tried to follow God, who were killed by the Law, go to Hell?”

                          Torah, Law, Instructions

                          Psalm 119:160All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

                          Law existed before the creation of the world. The law as it applies to man consists of the requirements to love God and to love our fellow beings, righteousness.

                          Law existed in the garden.

                          However, Adam was not required to obey it.

                          The need to obey law is only required when someone has the ability to know good and evil. If a person cannot tell the difference, how can he obey laws, which are instructions requiring people to avoid evil and do good?

                          If a person fails to obey the law, then he has become guilty, has sinned. When a child breaks a law, he is not held guilty, because he does not have the capability of knowing good and evil, his capacity to differentiate good from evil has not developed sufficiently to hold him accountable.

                          This was Adam's situation.

                          However, when he disobeyed God and chose to receive the ability to differentiate good from evil, he immediately became accountable, fell into the category over which law had jurisdiction, power.

                          The reason God instructed Adam to avoid receiving the ability to differentiate good from evil was because he, like the rest of creation, was created incomplete, undeveloped. Creation needed to be subdued, improved, developed, like an animal that needs to be domesticated. Without being domesticated, an animal lives an existence that is of no use to creation. For example, a wild horse lives without contributing to creation. When broken, tamed, domesticated, it serves to transport people and goods. Now it contributes to creation, is a useful part of the world we live in.

                          God's command to Adam was to subdue creation. That included himself. Till Adam subdued himself, there was no point in knowing good from evil, being aware of the law. It only revealed the weakness of the flesh, the inability to obey law, rveveal helplessness, impotency, inability to live the life God taught in the Law, death. In the course of subduing the world, harnessing it, Adam it seems, would also learn how to put to death the deeds of the body, harness the body too. More on this later.

                          In jumping the gun, in taking on the capability of being aware of law, in disobedience to God, Adam ended up in putting himself in a situation he could not cope with, or get out of.

                          Imagine a child raised on a desert island, living without contact with other humans. Needing no protection from the elements, he wore no clothing. One day, a ship arrives. He observes that the people on the ship are clothed. He realises that he is not clothed, therefore lacking, falling short. He does not have the ability to acquire clothes. What is the immediate solution to his problem? Hiding!

                          Which is what Adam did, being in that same situation, after eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He suddenly realised he was falling short. He was unprepared to face law, meet its requirements. It had so many conditions to be met, he could not even meet the bare minimum. God provided Adam with the basic ability to function in society, since man was created to be sociable. Some creatures work in groups, like ants and wolves, and some are lone operators, like grass hoppers and tigers.

                          Since Adam could not be sinless, hindered as he was with his inadequate body, which was controlled by the same impulses that wild animals have, he could not be near God. He was able to be with his fellow human beings, and this too with difficulty, but his "manners" weren't good enough to walk with God. His previous inability to differentiate good from evil allowed him a state of immunity from being declared fit, culpable, prosecutable according to the righteous requirements of the law, being under the jurisdiction of law, so he was sinless, because where there is no law, there is no transgression. Law basically controls rights, and since Adam had access to everything, food, relationship, power, there was not much to quibble. with man or God, about. Therefore, not only was Adam not under law, by virtue of not being competent to choose good from evil, he also had less opportunity to transgress.

                          When he disobeyed God, however, Adam acquired the ability to know good from evil, became mentally competent, and came under law. He no longer had the protection that mentally incompetent people like the insane and the immature have. Now Adam was non compliant by virtue of being competent. He was no longer fit to be in God's presence. He also could no longer HAVE God's Holy Spirit.

                          Now Adam could no longer subdue creation, could no longer even put to death the impulses of his own body, as God's Holy Spirit was taken from him.

                          This was the deadly combination, the ability to know good from evil combined with the inability to resist evil. Awareness of the destructive but natural drives needed to ensure survival, whilst being hampered by a body that could not resist the impulses that influence unsubdued creation that could lead to infraction.

                          A condition passed down to all Adam's descendants, inevitable development of competency, attaining of accountability, being made culpable.

                          Deuteronomy 1:39And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad--they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.

                          Isaiah 7:15"He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.


                          It required God to step in to save His world by sending His Son who would do what Adam did not do, submit, function as creation was meant to function, through self denial, because self denial is the initiating action, as unless a seed dies, it cannot receive the capability to be a blessing, to become a tree under which even the birds of the air are blessed, finding food and protection under its branches, by dying to Himself, emptying Himself, to bless the world, receiving the capability of atoning for Adam and his descendants, so that that which God had begun could be brought back on track, and could be completed.

                          Does this mean that all men perished until Christ was sent?

                          Does this mean that men went to hell until Christ was sent?

                          Paul said that God continued to let men be born into the world, in different places, but revealed Himself to them so that they would grope around, try to seek Him, and be found acceptable when they believed in what they discovered about God, that He was their Father and that they were obliged to follow Him, that He taught self denial as the start to life.

                          Acts 17:The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29“Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

                          The Athenians obviously were not right in their understanding of God and needed to repent, but were all men after Adam also in infraction? What were they supposed to do, for it to be reckoned to them as righteousness, found NOT in infraction by God, given that they could not be sinless? Also, if such people existed as we know they did, Abraham being the most well known, what did that righteousness get them, or to put it bluntly, how did that recognition of their righteousness benefit them?

                          From the record, it seems Abel had sought after God and found out what God had required from him and his offering apparently reflected this finding. Could it be that Abel reflected on the incident in the Garden and did not do as his father did, turned from serving God and serving himself, which Col 3:5 says is idolatry, and made the decision not to serve himself but serve God, and God revealed to him some of the oracles that He later also revealed to Israel, the details of how He would restore Creation through the sacrifice of His Son, revelation that Abel praised God for through his slaying of a lamb? Apparently so, because the record says that God was pleased with his response.

                          In manifesting the image of God, emptying himself, Abel was privy to how God would act in saving the world, by that same emptying of self.

                          The dynamics of Abel's relationship with God was the acknowledgement of a servant to a master.

                          Idolatry is defined in several ways, but basically, idolatry is a striking out for autonomy. It is not Thy will be done, God’s will have primacy, but the will of the idolater is sought to be done, have ascendancy, be brought to fruition.

                          The normal process is this:


                          Result desired
                          Physical object turned to or served
                          Effort/life focused/channelised to achieve that result.


                          However, physical objects, idols, need not always appear in the mix. The Jews, to whom idol worship was anathema, were rebuked by Jesus for idol worship:

                          Matthew 6:24"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

                          Serving an idol is not just placing offerings in front of a statue and making what the idol represents (Artemis of Ephesus was the Goddess of Good Harvests!) the priority of your life. Making anything other than what God prioritises the priority of your life IS idolatry, even if you do not have graven images in your household.

                          Apparently Cain's offering valued idolatry, serving self, more than valuing what God valued, dying to self.

                          Cain neglected his interaction with God, seeking God and receiving revelation, and HIS offering reflected this neglect, was an ignorant response. That was why God was pleased with Abel and not pleased with Cain.

                          From this we can conclude that those who did not spend time with God were not rewarded, even though He went out of His way in sending His Prophets with the message, that this group included most of Israel, and those who did spend time with God, did listen to His prophets, did receive the reckoning of righteousness to them, and this group included the remnant of every generation.

                          Those who were reckoned righteous are with God:

                          Mark 13:26“But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob’? 27“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken."

                          It's even better for those under the Covenant of Grace, in force after Christ was sent:

                          Ephesians 2:4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

                          It seems that the spirits of those who repent, turn away from serving self to denying self are preserved.

                          In addition to this blessing that believers always benefited from, with the sending of Christ, who emptied Himself, denied Himself, to rise again, to become like the great tree that is a blessing to the world, so that even the birds of the air are blessed by it, Christ became the a blessing to the world, a source of living waters by which even the parched countries of the world are blessed.

                          Now, by Grace, by the sending of Christ, a new humanity is born. Those who serve God, who turn away from self, are included in this new humanity. This was not possible before Christ was sent. This is why the least in the kingdom of God is greater than the greatest who were born of woman until John the Baptist.

                          These two features of the new Covenant of Grace, the removal of the curse and the creation of the new humanity, are what makes that possible, makes having a greater glory than the Covenant of Moses possible. Now by abiding in Christ, we can have the Holy Spirit through which we can put to death the deeds of the body. We are no longer held captive by that body of death. If we put to death that deeds of that body we can live, meet the righteous requirements of the law, have the right manners, be fit for God's company, walk with Him, begin again to subdue creation, by manifesting the image of God, which the whole of creation is waiting in expectation of, for the full revelation, of the sons of God.
                          Last edited by footwasher; 05-10-2015, 04:34 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by footwasher View Post
                            This study may help with the question of what the purpose of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. a good tree, as was everything God created, was. It is an endeavour to clarify a few ambiguous teachings, to follow them to their logical conclusions, as they seem to have been left unresolved, with negative results. It was ignited by a curious question posed by Arminian in his TWeb blog post, The Romans Clearinghouse.

                            “Did the believers who tried to follow God, who were killed by the Law, go to Hell?”

                            Torah, Law, Instructions

                            Psalm 119:160All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

                            Law existed before the creation of the world. The law as it applies to man consists of the requirements to love God and to love our fellow beings, righteousness.

                            Law existed in the garden.
                            Is this the law that Adam trespassed?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              Is this the law that Adam trespassed?
                              Um, not exactly.

                              Adam was like the minor who could not be prosecuted under criminal law, because he was underaged.

                              The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was like a room which made people age, so they became adults. God's instruction to Adam was not to go there.

                              The Fall is sometimes described as the loss of innocence.

                              Comment

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