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The basic foundation upon which mankind's existence has always been anchored is freewill. At the Creation of this world, there had already been war in heaven. Lucifer rebelled, and became the serpent--our archenemy, Satan, the devil, the original murderer (John 8:44). Lucifer not only wished to be exalted to equal status with God, but he accused our Creator of being a tyrant--that God was unfair. Lucifer was called the "covering cherub," the highest created being; one of astounding beauty. His rebellion grew. One third of the heavenly host sided with this once magnificent creature. The result was Lucifer and his angels--one third of them--were cast out of heaven. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels," (Revelation 12:7) KJV "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12) KJV "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. (Ephesians 6:12) KJV The immediate necessity in the New Creation on Earth was to make it abundantly manifest to the heavenly host that God was not unfair. That freewill exists. Either display love for our Heavenly Father, or reject creation's first commandment: "...but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, Ye shall not eat of it; neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." (Genesis 3:3) Jubilee Bible 2000 Due to Lucifer's rebellion, the most important litmus test for mankind was the freewill offered by God to Adam and Eve. In addition to the Tree of Life for eternal sustenance, there had to be the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Even had to have that choice to either obey their Creator, or reject His Word... And so it is today. We can reject God, even hate Him--but that is the ultimate sin,"...for the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) KJV
The following is my limited opinion. Tree of knowledge of good and evil is given to Adam in order to reveal who God is/ who Adam is. The following is the detail. (1) to reveal God is the sovereign Creator: law-giving Creator [ruler] Adam is created being; law-abiding creature. God separated Himself from Adam as a law giving sovereign ruler. Adam knew he was a mere created being as law abiding creature. God made this clear that Adam was a ruler of the earth under God. (2) to reveal Obedience is the only way to have relationship with Holy God only way to have a relationship with God is through obedience true obedience comes from love/honor. only way to obey God out of love/honor is through free will. therefore, God gave Adam the free will; so that Adam could obey Him out of love, honor for Him God did not want Adam's obedience out of the His force (3) to reveal God is the source of entire knowledge [in Hebrew expression, 'good and evil' collectively means entirety] God wanted Adam to depend on Him regarding any kind of knowledge (4) to reveal God is the absolute standard of good and evil God forbid Adam one thing only: if Adam disobey this, then that's evil. if Adam obeys it, then that's good. God wanted Adam to decide what is good based on Him [His word]
The futility of Adam and Eve in seeking to exceed the laws of God led to their expulsion from the garden and the loss of immortality. Some Bible scholars prefer to view the story of the tree of life as a pictorial representation of spiritual truth in the same way that John employs the pictorial scenes of heaven in conveying truths. We can therefore infer that the theological meaning of the tree of life is a “picture of the glorious possibilities which lay before man, and which might have been realized by him had not his sin and sinful condition prevented it. God's intervention was a great mercy to the human race.” It would be reckless to consider the story as a myth because the New Testament cites this story in a factual sense. The reality of Adam as the fallen person paved way for Christ, the new Adam to bring eternity to humanity. There cannot be a second Adam (Christ) without the first true human Adam. This tree must have been a reality that was available to a real creature of God and not just an abstract imagination or a parable. We cannot explain more than scripture reveals or make wild speculations that cannot be proved in the Bible but we can interpret spiritual truths from its teaching. We must also accept the Word of God by faith as his unchangeable revealed truth and with this reality then handle it with the reverence that it deserves. Those who argue that the tree represented sexual intimacy are making misleading assertions not supported by Scripture because earlier God had commanded the two to multiply and fill the earth (Gen 1:28). How was this to be possible if not through sexual means? The second area where the tree of life is mentioned is the wisdom book of proverbs. In the book of proverbs the tree of life concept is equated with good life, “a moral and spiritual source of a full life, mental moral and spiritual, which will potentially last forever. Life, long life, is here attributed to a certain possession or quality of mind and heart. Wisdom is a source and supply of life to man.” (cf. Proverbs 3:18; 10:11, 11:30, 13:12, 15:4). The general idea is that a life is rewarding if lived with wisdom. The third citation of the tree of life is in the apocryphal books which are not canonical. Only Roman Catholics recognize these books. I do not think it is necessary to carry the citations on these apocryphal writings since their spiritual authority is doubtful. The final representation of the tree of life is in Revelation 2:7, 22:14) which exposes another tree of life in heaven. John quotes Christ saying “to him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7). It appears that whereas there was a physical tree in Eden, there is a spiritual one in Heaven. The fruits of this eternal tree are accessible to the saints of God who shall overcome the tribulations of this world and remain true to the Lamb of God. This is a contrast to the earthly tree in Eden which may have perished and we have no further account of it. Some scholars suppose that the Garden of Eden was destroyed by the Floods of Noah’s time but again this is mere speculation because we have no evidence in Scripture to back this claim. Theologically speaking, we can deduce that the heavenly tree avails all the possibilities of a complete and glorious life which is open to the one that overcomes, and by overcoming is prepared to become immortal in a vastly higher sense.
I believe God put the tree of Good and Evil in the Garden was to see if Adam and Eve trusted in what God said " about the not eating of the tree of Good and Evil, because they would surely die. By trusting him, they would have made the choice to obey him and love him, but Eve didn't trust him, so she listen to Satan and enticed Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit too, So it all came down to making their choice Trust and Obey God, or listen to Satan's lies and disobey God.
This certainly gave Adam/Eve a choice and they acted on their personal choice being free to do so. But, while their choice of "being like him" was correct, their method of achieving that goal was wrong and sinful. Their method was to achieve that goal to "be like him" on their "own works", i.e. by themselves "eating the fruit". But, let us backtrack so that we can fully understand what happened in the "garden of Eden". Jesus "was slain from the foundation" (Rev. 13:8), even way before the garden of Eden and certainly before the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God is omniscient and knew that, when given a choice to "die or be like him"(the Creator YHVH ELOHIM), Adam/Eve would choose the latter, even at the risk of "eternal death". This was not a test on Adam, as God also knew that, while man was made "perfect and good", he was "flesh", "weak".(Matt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38) and would choose the wrong path. This was well-planned from the beginning and executed perfectly. But, God wanted to be on record, through the narrative in Genesis, that to "be like him" would not be through the "works of Adam". It would not be through man "reaching out and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree". Adam/Eve did not know the way to be "like him", and subsequently sinned against God. God was giving an indication that the way was not through "man-Adam" but through "another man", man-Jesus. This is the essence of the "gospel of the kingdom of God". To be like YHVH ELOHIM, would be by "grace through faith" of this specific Creator in Genesis, the Logos in John 1, the same one that incarnated into man-Jesus. The "faith of Jesus" in whom? In the Father, that what He promised, He would fulfill. What was this covenantal promise of the Father to the Son? That if this YHVH ELOHIM CREATOR, the LOGOS would "strip himself of or give up his divine privileges"(Phil. 2:5-11), thus incarnate and die, then his death would be reckoned as payment in full for the sins of mankind to be reconciled to the Father. Having been reconciled by Jesus' death, the Father would resurrect him (saved by his life,Rom. 5:10) and the Holy Spirit would be sent (Jn 16:7). This HS would then "in-dwell" in us, the temple not made by hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24), so God the Potter can re-do what is best for us, the "marred clay" (Jer. 18:4). This promise of the Holy Spirit in us will seal, guide, teach, help us overcome temptation and direct us to develop the "wisdom" of God, the "mind of Christ" Therefore, let us not "grieve" but instead follow this Holy Spirit in us, as man-Jesus did, to express the "fruits of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23). While our faith in God and our good works are important, what matters most and ultimately the only ones that God recognized by grace were the "faith of Jesus and the works of the Holy Spirit". With the Spirit in us, this promise will be fulfilled: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God"(Rev. 2:7). God the Father wanted us from the beginning to have "first", the wisdom and mind of Christ, and then change from mortal to immortal " in a twinkling of an eye" to live eternally, but only through His strategic plan. This is the " kingdom of God" made up of spirit beings in the likeness of Jesus, the Son of God, the Head of the Church and Body of Christ.
How can we know evil and sin without the Tree of Knowledge? How can we know and worship God and all His goodness and love, if we don't know what is the opposite to Him? The Tree of Knowledge provided us with that information. It represents sin and a life separated from God. Free will gives us the choice between good and evil: either faithful devotion of our life to God, or to a life of sin. We owe it to our creator, God, to not fall into the hands of sin. When we stray (and we all do), God has provided us with the means to get back on track: the perfect sacrifice made by Jesus the Christ.
The tree of knowledge had been made a test of their obedience and their love to God. The Lord had seen fit to lay upon them but one prohibition as to the use of all that was in the garden; but if they should disregard His will in this particular, they would incur the guilt of transgression. Satan was not to follow them with continual temptations; he could have access to them only at the forbidden tree. Should they attempt to investigate its nature, they would be exposed to his wiles. They were admonished to give careful heed to the warning which God had sent them and to be content with the instruction which He had seen fit to impart.
The short answer is that the tree was placed there as a test to see who they would listen to. The results of the test are easy to see today.
What is the difference between a man and an animal? An animal has no restrictions on its behavior beyond whatever its instincts may supply. Man is able to deny himself immediate gratification in order to experience long-term fulfillment no animal is capable of. Adam's creation under free will didn't guarantee he would obey God as automatically as an animal obeys its instincts. Adam as the first man, had to demonstrate he could, as true to his creation, rise above the animal level and deny himself one type of food. As it came as a commandment from God, obedience was the only way to please God so Adam might be fulfilling his ultimate destiny to dominate the earth. The tree of knowledge of good and evil gave a fruit which altered the mind and soul of the partaker. In Biblical language it "opened the eyes" of those eating it. The fruit gave Adam and Eve the knowledge of how to achieve their personal objectives independently of, or in contradiction to, God's perfect or permissive will for them. Beforehand they would not have known this. Of course, any knowledge not of God is ultimately evil, no matter how high it appears to be. Today there are still many plants (and some animals) that create biological substances which give human beings psychedelic or mind-altering experiences. Some are traditionally employed in various heathen religions. Scientists have even co-operated by creating powerful new drugs such as LSD. The current plague of illegal drugs on society is only a pale shadow of what the original tree of knowledge of good and evil could do to alter the mind and soul of the victims. This plague will be going from bad to much worse when the woman of "Mystery Babylon" (Rev. 17:5) is plying her "sorceries" in the future, which, correctly translated, refers to certain drugs by which all men are deceived who imbibe them (Rev. 18:23). The deception is a surprisingly close parallel with the original fall of Adam and Eve due to eating from the tree. This temptation is the only one mentioned both in Genesis and Revelation (Rev. 3:10).
One answer I have found that I find interesting is that perhaps God placed it there as a proper and necessary warning not to partake of that which would lead to sin. There are other such warnings throughout the pages of scripture. The difference between Adam's situation and ours is that while Adam had the purest form of "free" will and a natural inclination to walk in obedience to his creator, his disobedience so affected the human race that we are told that now the 'natural' man is in active rebellion against God. So much so that that it takes a supernatural act of God to give man the ability to take a step toward God (See Rom 8:7 and.John 6:44, 65 for a start. On another note, the tree, along with Adam's disobedience as the federal head of the human race, resulted in the glorious plan of redemption being set in motion in which men 'born on death row' are brought to the Cross of Christ in humble repentance for their sin and upon believing in Christ are granted eternal life. In the end, we are not told specifically why God placed the tree there, but we can be certain that, as an evangelist by the name of Paris Reidhead proclaimed, that "The end of all being is the glory of God!"
Why did God put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden? There appear to be two aspects to this question which generally are not given much consideration. One involves Adam and Eve, the other involves Satan the Devil. It has been shown that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Forbidden Tree) was used as a means of testing Adam and Eve’s obedience to God’s command. But what hasn’t been considered is that the Forbidden Tree was also used to test the Devil’s obedience as well. It is well established that God is fully aware of everything that would happen from the beginning to the end, even to the smallest detail. (Isaiah 46:9-10) Therefore He knew that the Devil would use the Forbidden Tree to trick Eve into disobedience to God’s command and that Adam would choose to join her in death rather than to live without her. (1 Timothy 2:14) However, it is very unlikely that anyone else in heaven other than the Godhead knew these things. Prior to these events, we know nothing about heavenly politics and whether there were opportunities for celestial sin to occur. In my opinion, there were no opportunities for sin to enter into practice before the creation of Adam and Eve. So, the Forbidden Tree also provided the means for heavenly sin to occur. The free will actions of a created being cannot be predicted, even by God. If such actions are predictable, then they are based upon cause and effect and are no longer free. God predicts the end from the beginning because He is outside of time and everything has already happened from His perspective. So, when God makes a prediction, such as with Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus, is was based upon actually seeing in advance what Judas would choose to do of his own free will. Therefore, as it turns out, the Forbidden Fruit has directly and indirectly served to test the obedience of all of God’s free will creation. That is why God put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden In my opinion, there may have been a secondary reason also. The Forbidden Tree was apparently used to provide Adam and Eve and their offspring with enough sinful selfishness to survive in this fallen world. Evidently, the Forbidden Fruit contained properties that changed their DNA and opened their eyes to carnal knowledge among other things. (Genesis 3:7) It also made them and their descendants think more of self rather than of others. Paul described these selfish tendencies as a law of his body (selfishness inherited from Adam and Eve) which was at war with the law of his mind (Paul’s free will). (Romans 7:23) These selfish human characteristics result in all sorts of evil ending in death. They also awaken within us a free will desire to change which we can do by the power of The Spirit of God. (Romans 7:5-6) Our sinful natures will cause us to appreciate all the more our new glorified bodies which are literally, a new creation that will no longer be burdened by Adam’s sinful nature. (2 Corinthians 5:17) So, this is another possible reason for God putting the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden.
In 1 Corinthians 15:28 is mentioned an eight word phrase "So that God may be all in all", which, I believe, summarizes the ultimate goal of God in creating the human beings along with the universe. To achieve this goal God planned two things: 1. "that the universe, all in heaven and on earth, might be brought into unity in Christ." (Eph. 1:10 NEB). And 2. "to his praise and glory." a humanity be created in Christ (see Eph. 1:6, 12, 14 NEB), in the likeness and image of God. The whole biblical history is the revelation of God working out of this twofold plan to achieve His ultimate goal. In the Bible Gen. 1:1 - 2:3 is like an introduction of God working out of His plan. The human history, starting from Gen. 2:4 to the rest of the Bible, is revealed how God is working out His plan. In this plan Satan and Adamic generation are simply means to achieve the ultimate goal. Satan and Adamic race will never realize that they are simply being used by God to create a new humanity in Jesus Christ "to the praise of His glory". So only the people of the new humanity in Jesus Christ have the real free will, and no other human being has it (John 8:31-36). When we consider the above plans and ultimate goal of God, all things become clear. In Gen. 1:27 the word "created" is used three times. This suggests that humans are created three times. The second and third creation of humanity is mentioned in Genesis 2:4 - 3:24. Here you will see that likeness of God in this humanity is the result of man's disobedience (Gen. 3:22). Hence this humanity, though has achieved likeness of God, is accursed to eternal death. But the first creation of humanity in Gen. 1:27 is the creation of new humanity in Jesus Christ. It is first because this is the purpose for the creation of Adamic generation. Therefore, the existence of Satan, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the human fall, all are part of the perfect history planned and made by God. In Gen. 1:30-31, we see that whatever God had made, was made according to the plan "and it was so", and the every thing was pleasing to God "it was very good". The question we need to ask is, What was it that was "very good" in the sight of God that had been made according to the plan. My answer to this question is that along with the whole creation, the whole of human history was made according to the plan and it was very Good. So the history we are living in is already finished history for God, but for us human beings it is running its course in past, present and future. God predicting events of history for us centuries in advance is proof of it. The history we are in is perfect for the creation of new humanity in Jesus Christ. We the children of God are privileged to know the plan of God in relation to our lives and ministry.
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