Genesis 2:16 - 17
NKJV - 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. 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."
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The tree of knowledge of good and evil is a key piece in God's design of humankind and our relationship to Him. In fact, it is the very fabric of contention that both binds us and separates us from Him. When God created us, he gave us free will. This "free will" is what enables us to choose to love and obey God, or hate and disobey Him. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is most likely just an ordinary tree. But unlike other trees, God placed it in the middle of the garden of Eden and explicitly told Adam and Eve not to eat of its fruit. The purpose? An instrument for which Adam and Eve could exercise their free will, to obey or disobey God. Without this, one might argue there was never truly "free will". Temptations exists all around us today. Temptations are also the very basis of what makes us good or evil. When we see a wallet on the floor, we have an opportunity to steal it, or return it to the owner. What we do with that temptation defines us. The owner of the wallet did not "create evil" by making it a temptation to us. We, by our choice and exercise of our free will, either create a loving act of kindness, or a selfish act of evil. Therefor do not blame God for temptations that come in your life. Take responsibility for your actions and exercise the precious gift of free will that God designed in you.
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' - Isaiah 45:7 The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster. - Proverbs 16:4
Put simply God created everything, John 1:3 Yes he created the tree of life and with it knowledge of good and evil (understanding), however, the question to a mature christian may be slightly complex. It stands to me to be not a question of anything particularly created but rather a manifestation of understanding of a concept that was already in existence and by implication from John 1:3 created by God. This means although created and true, evil only exists when you know what exactly it is (deception is one of its weapons) while good is clearly created and declared so by God,(Genesis 1:3-31) evil is only manifested after knowledge has come. To be more abstract, if we consider light and darkness, the absence of light results in darkness. For example, visual appreciation is achieved through perception of light. In other words, without light you cannot see. Although Bartimaeus had his sight restored (Mark 10:46 NKJV) one cannot quite simply say when Jesus healed him he created light, although I acknowledge some may argue so. To be clearer, I think we need to define evil first. In my opinion it is the absence of good. So what is good? It is the presence of what is expedient to human existence as defined by the moral standing and character of God evidenced in creation and mentioned as so by God in Genesis 1:3-31. Here clearly God reflects and judges that after an act of creation, its Good. Good is not only confined to this example, it is evidenced through the bible, I think here we get the introduction of what is good and how it was declared so. If one does not accept this perspective, perhaps if we think of defining disorder. Order is an arrangement of something, equally the concept of disorder becomes relevant or understandable only if we know what the order is meant to be. Otherwise disorder can be augured as a state of order. Thus you cannot necessarily talk of disorder without knowing the intended order. I propose that the true is the same with evil. Which in essence becomes following opposition or tempering with what is originally declared good by God and his instruction. The tree of life must be more than an ordinary tree, because if it was just ordinary it would not need to be guarded by an angel and a sword as it is up to this day "...He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life'. (Genesis 3:24 NKJV). Prior to creation it appears that there is inference from the biblical text that there were Supernatural beings that were before humanity, 'Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."(Genesis 1:26 NKJV). Certainly amoung these supenatural beings that were before man perhaps not necessarily among the LET US referred to in the above verse but certainly in audience with God is Satan,'' 'Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them"(Job 1:6 NKJV). We know Satan is the father of evil and has a character of lying, stealing, killing and destroying which epitomises the absence of good and thus existence of evil. Eating from the tree of life gave humanity the ability to know what is the character of God that is to say good and what is the Character of opposition to this or the absence of good i.e presence of evil. The bible is clear that eating again from the tree brings with it imortality 'then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Genesis 3:22 NKJV). By eating the fruit what was already there became manifest. Thus knowing the essence of evil "...thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (evil) and the essence of good "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (good) (John 10:9 - 10:10 NKJV) helps in thinking through the concept. If you do not know what is good, you will not know what is evil. Thus it may be difficult to understand why evil was not necessarily created, but rather manifested. Water was everywhere on what we call earth but until it was arranged and orderered by God to introduce dryness it is difficult to talk about wetness. If this is all not making sense, then it may be easier to go back to JohIn "...the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Including evil, tree of life, knowledge etc). In Him was life (good), and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness (evil) and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:1 - 1:5 NKJV).
Look at it this way. Compare these opposites: good and evil = light and dark = heat and cold. Dark is the absence of a source of light, cold is the absence of a source of heat, evil is the absence of the source of good. So actually evil has existed as long as God has, because He is the source of good. Remove that source of goodness and what remains is evil. Lucifer rebelled against God before the creation, so evil had to have existed before the creation.
"Free Will & Determinism"; A very involved and profoundly deep study that has been debated for centuries. Our spirits were dead in trespasses and sin- yet our carnal souls (and bodies for that matter) were very much alive; continually 'affected' by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Although no one can possibly come to Christ unless His Holy Spirit draws him or her- I for one DO believe that we CAN choose to obey, surrender all, and follow Christ, as an act of our personal will- in response to His Spirit. Truly, we are not robots, or else the Cross of Calvary would not have been necessary. Eve & Adam's Free Will decision to disobey YHVH brought the curse of death to mankind and His Creation (initiated by the original fallen one- Lucifer). The LORD Jesus Christ humbled Himself, became a Man not unlike you or me- and paid it all... so that by an act of our Free Will, we could choose to receive His Eternal Salvation. The simplicity of the Gospel has often been 'over-thought' by men. Paul was one of the great minds of human history with impeccable credentials, until he met the Risen One- and all he trusted in became as dung. Let's "study to show ourselves approved unto GOD, workers who need not be ashamed- rightly dividing the Word of Truth." The Book of Hebrews also confirms that we (Biblical Christians) are the 'spiritual seed' of Abraham through our LORD Jesus Christ. The entire Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 belongs to all true believers. Of course we must understand and respect the context of all Scripture; but what Rabbinical scholars call a 'remez' points to multiple patterns and cyclic fulfillments that are 'applied' and thereby repeated through all human history. Example- although it is obvious that no one but Christ ever kept the Ten Commandments, the truths contained in those directives 'bless' each of us when obeyed. Http://zionsgate.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/many-infallible-proofs/
If God 'created' evil it would have happened before the garden because lucifer was participating in evil before the world was created.
The fact that we have a choice is what's important, our will of choosing good over evil, happy or sad, God to devil, hamburger or carrot. Choice. What will you choose? We want to analyze everything to its core and have explanation of it so we understand, but it all leads up to choice. That is why sin can be forgiven...because no one but one person ever made every choice perfectly, Jesus Christ. He had choice and could of chosen to sin, but He chose to not sin so that we could see the true power he really had that is in us all and that we have the same choices. Jesus was perfection of choice and new how to avoid sin with a thought. He never hesitated nor stumbled over a decision. He gave us a way to be forgiven and guilt free of the wrong choices we have made. Choice is what we have and what we have in the end are the choices we've made in our lives which will determine our everlasting life in Heaven.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was not an ordinary tree. Its fruit actually did 'open the eyes' and made one 'wise.' Gen 3:1-7. We still have remnants of this effect from various plant sources which contain mind-altering drugs and have been used in different religions. Recently, scientists have discovered LSD, meth, etc. which can give similar results. The further humanity falls morally, the more we will come close to repeating the Fall. Yes, except for the righteous remnant, man can fall again to a certain extent, especially at the time of the Antichrist and False Prophet.
God is God and no one is beside him or no one can question him. Two trees which was in the middle of a Garden of Eden. The tree of life meaning Jesus and the tree of Knowledge of good and evil meaning the devil. The tree of knowledge was created with evil and we can't question Our God who are we to question Him? Tree of life was created with life in it. So God gave us free will to choose. Almighty says in Isaiah 45 ves 5-7.He says I create light (life) and I create darkness (evil) it the same God who do all this but we the people have problem with our desires we always go for something attraction just to fulfill our selfish desire.
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