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RogerG

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  1. Which spiritual authority (for lack of a better term) did you utilize to arrive at these conclusions (the Bible, yourself, other)?
  2. (Note to Mod: As I am new to this site I'm not 100% sure I've selected the correct forum for my post. If there's a more appropriate place for it, please let me know and I'll move it.) I'm creating a post on the above topic because in the past, when I've have read various articles about the interpretation of these trees and their purpose, I felt that generally, the accepted theology//thinking on the subject didn't seem to fit what I found in Bible. Consequently, I tried to locate all of the verses that I felt were pertinent and to try to harmonize them (with a belief that God did not write the Bible to contain contradictions). As a result, I developed the following write-up. Please bear in mind that my writing skills are not the best, so I would hope that my lack of ability will not dissuade anyone from thinking in depth about what was written. I also hope that it might serve as a starting point and generate additional thoughts on the topic and hopefully, open up a new line of reasoning. It's quite lengthy and its grammar and formatting isn't always as good as it might be I will therefore continue to review and update as necessary . It is an attempt to demonstrate the significance and meaning of tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life (in the Garden of Eden) and that they are fundamental to the entire Bible, extending far beyond just their roles in Genesis. They underpin and have influenced all biblical events that transpired afterwards because they are fundamental to eternal judgment and salvation. Additionally, it is an attempt to develop through a spiritual lens, the symbolism and interpretation of these trees. Ultimately, I believe that the biblical doctrine they illustrate is to show that any attempt on our part, even to the slightest degree, to justify ourselves before God (through our own perceived good works or good deeds), demonstrates that we remain the prisoners of Satan and not of God. First, to help understand my reasoning, an explanation of my perception of the Bible and its interpretations, is in order: 1) God moved the writers to write precisely; what, when, and how he wanted it written 2) It was perfect in its original form 3) It was written solely regarding Jesus and His mission, although Jesus is not always obvious or easy to find within it – never the less, He is there 4) It is complete within itself (i.e., nothing is needed or permitted outside of itself in order to qualify or reveal further what has already been written) 5) It should be understood as its own cross-reference, dictionary, and glossary of terms 6) It has defined the beginning and ending points of spiritual revelation as a perfect lawbook would (i.e., spiritual truth should not continually evolve otherwise we could never know if/when we had received it all). 7) No spiritual revelation or evolution of spiritual truth could occur once revelation was completed and closed (Revelation 22:18 - 19) and delivered to mankind once and for all – God has given us all that He wanted to reveal 8 It should be understood as one completely integrated book (Genesis – Revelation) 9) Its verses simultaneously reveal two levels of communications: the spiritual and the temporal (carnal). Our goal should be to understand the spiritual by using the carnal images, not as the true, but as a shadow of the of the true. We should look for, find, and compare the spiritual with the spiritual dimensions. 10) God used, directed and moved historical allegories, metaphors, similes, parables and symbols of nations, peoples, history and individuals as primary literary devices to depict his spiritual principles. Many read the Bible, but few find its gospel. 11) The only book claiming to have true spiritual authority which defines and sets forth God’s mercy and grace (alone) for atonement and forgiveness of sin and not based upon any of our works or “good deeds”. [Gen 2:9 & 2:17 KJV] 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 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. Verse 2:9 informs that God only created those trees which were "pleasant to the sight" AND "good for food" -- both had to be true. The purpose of verse 9 was to inform that this tree was located in the “midst of the garden” along with the tree of life, but since it was not to be used for food as the requirement in verse 9 requires, it could not be from God and not possible that it had been made by Him. Symbolically, verse 9 established that both trees were in the center of the garden, symbolically meaning they represented the two fundamentally opposing gospels found throughout the whole Bible: one of works, one of grace. In fact, in verse 17 God gave a most dire warning to NOT eat from it or death would be the result To gain a better understanding of the trees, we need to break down and analize their names. “the tree of knowledge of good and evil”: As its name illustrates, this tree is comprised of three parts: 1) knowledge, 2) good, 3) evil. The “knowledge” is the representation of Law. Only Law can provide the distinction and demarcation (and thus the “knowledge”) between what constitutes good and evil – which is what the law itself brought. Law forth knowledge but knowledge didn’t bring forth the law. The “good” represents the perfect satisfying of the law’s requirements for the restitution of sin which (only) Christ could have accomplished. The “evil” represents a trust in, and the failure of, the belief of a individual’s works to achieve spiritual justification before God when it is compared and measured to the “good. Please notice that based upon the name and description, eternal LIFE is NOT a fruit produced of the of tree of the knowledge of good and evil – a knowledge of good and evil ONLY is its fruit. We can therefore conclude that only eternal judgment and spiritual death would result from the eating of the fruit.. The law and its associated judgment (from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), will remain present with us, and effective until the end of time and beyond. The manifestation of the eating of the fruit became a trust in the works of the law which placed mankind under the judgment of law (as it pertains to our eternal judgment) because it brought Law to life and gave it dominion over mankind to judge them. Since everything written in the Bible is there to illustrate and communicate something about God’s plan of salvation (through Christ) and judgment, it is imperative for us to appreciate what its name actually represents – remember the name was not chosen arbitrarily by God. “the tree of life”: The tree of life is mutually exclusive and in direct opposition to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Please observe that the tree of life, in contrast to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, has NO “knowledge” (or Law) or good or evil, associated to it -- eternal life only, is its fruit. The tree itself represents a singularly of eternal life -- unadulterated, undiluted, with no reservations, qualifications or limitations – eternal life in its purest, most intense, endless form with no preconditions – far beyond our limited ability to comprehend or perceive now. Pro 11:30 KJV] 30 The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life; and he that winneth souls [is] wise. [Rev 13:8 KJV] 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The “tree of life” (as in the tree of life in the garden -- or Christ) is He alone that “winneth souls”. This verses symbolizes and recognizes that Christ Himself is the tree of life. To summarize, as long as Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Law could not be brought into effect and spiritual lives would have continued. Alternatively, had they eaten of the fruit of the tree of life (instead of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), they would have received the guarantee of unending spiritual life with death becoming an impossibility. However, after eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, an opportunity to then eat from the tree of life was lost – and the judgment of law came to fruition to prosecute them (and the unsaved) forever. Said another way, eternal life (and eternal life alone) was the bi-product of the fruit of the tree of life, while judgment and death were the bi-product of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – and a cross-over, overlap or co-mingling between the two were impossible. As Pro 11:30 demonstrates, the tree of life is symbolic of Christ, but until Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a sacrifice by Christ for sin was unneeded. Immediately after the eating however, and at a point prior to their expulsion from the garden, as Rev 813:8 demonstrates, Christ assumed the role of the Lamb of God and was spiritually sacrificed. This expulsion caused the foundation of a (new) world [Gen 3:1 – 7 & 9 KJV] 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. Based upon the above verses we can see that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was symbolic of Satan and his doctrine, because through his advice/encouragement to Adam and Eve to eat of it, was the Law introduced which brought forth judgment and death. Adam and Eve thus became the unwitting accomplices of Satan. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Again, in verse 9, we can understand that since God created only those trees to grow (come into being) which were good for food, that God DID NOT create the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as God warned against eating or even touching that tree. Besides that, the verse only informs that both trees were in the middle of the garden. [As tree of life is symbolic of Christ and His doctrine, so is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolic of Satan and his doctrine. We should keep this uppermost in our minds should we become attracted to spiritual justification by works of Law, which is the centerpiece the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (or Satan). Please remember that there is no mention of “life” in any form made or implied with this tree, as opposed to the exclusive promise of life with tree of life, making the two exact opposites, and diametrically in opposition to each other. [Psa 37:35 KJV] 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. [Rom 7:8- 9 KJV] 8 “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead 9 For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” “For I was alive without the law once”, “Without”: outside of the Law. Paul explains that in principle he had been alive (had spiritual life before anyone had become subjugated to the judgment of Law). In a sense, he was alive within the spiritual loins of Adam during the Genesis time frame, though separated chronologically by many years and ancestral generations. Before the Law gained prominence over humanity, he was spiritually alive but as sin, judgement and spiritual death are the bi-products of the Law, all people, including Paul, became spiritually dead too. The Bible further substantiates this conclusion further: : [Rom 7:5 KJV] 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (the Law spoken of is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) [Rom 7:7 KJV] 7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. “I had not known sin, but by the law”: eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought forth and activated the Law to give a “knowledge” of sin and because of that knowledge, a desire to satisfy the Law [Rom 7:8-10 KJV] 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.For without the law sin [was] dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. The commandment in view here was God’s commandment, given in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, to not eat nor even touch of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If the Law had not been manifested by that, sin could not have been imputed. [Rom 5:13 KJV] “13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. “sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law:”: Without law, sin could not be imputed. By the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Law came into prominence. [1Co 15:55-57 KJV] 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. {/b] 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Law did not exist before Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but after, so until then, it was not possible that judgment could be levied by God beforehand. Judgment required Law in order to identify the transgression. But, when Law became manifested -- and Law is central to the fruit of the tree – it (Law) provided a knowledge of good and evil ( discerned by the verdict that the Law produces) – spiritual death came upon everyone because Law itself came/is upon everyone to judge them– the assessment of sin had to be made by the Law, which causes/ed spiritual death to be imputed – it was by Law that we all became entrapped within and by it and subjected to judgment, even though Adam’s and Eve were the ones who brought it into being and gave it power and life, but nevertheless, once the Law was manifested, it was present to judge all. [Rom 7:21-25 KJV] 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. God’s true Law is the law consists of two sub-parts: the one that leads to spiritual life, and the other that leads to spiritual death-- this is the true and only law that is germane to eternal judgement, and is the Law of law. Against it alone will we all ultimately be judged one way or the other-- we will all fall within one or the other. They are explicitly identified to/for our edification in Romans 8:1 & 2 1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Verse 1 informs that those who walk after the Spirit are free of, will never face God’s judgment and condemnation 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death Verse 2 informs that It is ONLY BY/THROUGH the LAW of the Spirit of life itself in Christ (and not by anything that we might do or not do) are those who are saved freed of the law of sin and death and God’s condemnation, that is, the first law -- the law of life itself through Christ—is alone what sets us free from the second -- the law of sin and death. Until becoming born again, we remain under the control of the second. The “law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, is the tree of life an extension of the garden, and the law of sin and death a result of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the law of sin and death itself, which brings forth God’s wrath, condemnation, and eternal judgment. Please observe, that It is the only the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that can make us free from the law of sin and death, and not of any works which we may do or contribute. However, only Christ could satisfy the Law. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” God’s true Law – the one that He gave -- is the law which is in view in verses 2 and 3 (above) -- consisting of two parts: one that leads to spiritual life, and one that leads to spiritual death. This is the one true and only law as pertaining to eternal judgement and is the Law of law. Explained in the Bible, against it alone will we all ultimately be judged -- we will all fall within one or the other (sub laws). They are explicitly identified to/for us by Romans 8:2 and 8:3 Rom 3:19 & 20KJV] 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. [Rom 5:12-13 KJV] 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. /b] In verse 13, we are also informed that sin was already in the world but could not be imputed because there was no law by which to attribute it. All other laws which were written in the Bible are to provide guidelines for our conduct of behavior in this current physical world, but which have no bearing regarding eternal judgment. Eternal spiritual life could never be attainable were it to be based upon anything that we accomplish -- for our works can only be of this present world not the next. Even if was it possible to satisfy the requirements of the earthly laws to their letter which it is not- those laws could never be applied to, or satisfy, the spiritual laws of the next world but that is upon which judgment will be assessed and made-- they are completely out of our reach -- only Christ as Savior the eternal mediator can accomplish that on the behalf of those whom He has chosen to salvation. All people, including those saved, by nature, choose instinctively to follow this earthly path of self-justification , because we all have been blinded by strong delusion: we are all enticed by sin into the loving and following Satan’s doctrine (the Law of tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and by believing the doctrine has come from God have eaten of the tree, but by so doing, have rejected God’s doctrine of mercy and grace thru Christ (the tree of life). By our earthly nature, we insist on fanatically pursuing that which would bring about our own eternal spiritual destruction. And worse, we refuse to and are unable to even consider the spiritual implications of what we are rejecting, or we perceive them as being just folly. By our nature, we all therefore reject God’s mercy made possible through Christ the Savior, and yet tragically, without having first received the prerequisite of faith given by God as an undeserved blessing as is given to those whom become born-again. However, were we to be left to our own intellectual means, we all would be completely unable to seek, find or trust the very singular blessing of the tree of life, which God brought forth unto the saving of the soul. I hope that no one finds this post offensive, it was sincerely intended not to be so. Its purpose is to help illustrate a continuum and linkage of spiritual life and death from the garden of Eden to Revelation which thus far I have not found to be recognized elsewhere.
  3. Hello, 1) Briefly introduce yourself. My name is Roger Guran. I'm married (have been for 37 years), have three fantastic daughters and an equally fantastic grand daughter I spent six years in the Marine Corps (four of them active, two reserve), with two tours in Viet Nam I am a licensed private pilot but haven't had much opportunity to utilize it recently 2) How and how long ago did you become a Christian? Tell us about your conversion experience (if you have one). I became a Christian exclusively through, and by, the grace and mercy of God. My faith grew incrementally over time by the reading, hearing and understanding of the gospel which is contained within the Bible. 3) What experiences have shaped you spiritually? Again the Bible has been, and continues to be, the largest single factor to have shaped me spiritually. 4) What evidences do you have that you have been given life by God? My faith in Christ as the one and only Savior sent from God and as is illuminated exclusively by the Bible. Also, I believe the understanding I have been given of things spiritual also attests to that 5 What does it mean for a person to love God? In what ways do you see true biblical love toward God demonstrated in your life? We love God because He first loved us, that is, His love was first manifested to us individually, and is the cause of our love of Him. Said another way (and as it is with all other spiritual blessings), our love of Him is because He first loved us 6) What activities characterize your evangelistic interest? The sharing of God's gospel as circumscribed by the Bible, is one of the greatest true, pure joys of my life 7) What are your specific and regular practices regarding the spiritual disciplines (e.g., personal prayer, Bible study, meditation, stewardship, learning, etc.)? Prayer and Bible study 8 )Who are your favorite Christian writers, commentators, theologians, etc.? Why? What books have you read in the past year? God and the Bible - that's all that are necessary 9)When you're met with opposition, has it been mostly related to your personality, your beliefs, or something else? My beliefs. I think that people by their human nature don't like to hear there is no other option to Christ -- He is truly the only Savior. He saves only those whom He chooses to save -- it is completely a gift
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