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The Two Trees of Genesis

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  • The Two Trees of Genesis

    Rebel777 brought up some questions about the two trees in relation to Adam and God's plan. This thread is to further explore these type of questions.

    Here is the question, "One might wonder why God planted the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place and secondly forbid A&E to eat from it. Was it just a test or is there something deeper than that? Did death enter the world as a punishment from God for disobedience or was it an automatic result, cause and effect so to say."

    Some thoughts that come to mind about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    I would venture to say that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a depiction of wisdom. Proverbs calls wisdom a tree.

    Then there is the tree of life. Christ is spoken of in scripture as the tree of Life for us.

    Does wisdom come before life, or does life bring wisdom. Those of us who are of some age would say the latter is the answer.

    So are the trees a test or something deeper? Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 12:33 to the Pharisees.


    Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit.


    Genesis 3:6 says that the woman saw that the fruit was good, and a tree to be desired to make one wise.
    I've heard the two trees represented as evil and good, the devil and Christ etc. But it could just be that both represent Christ. Something which can only be discerned by the fruit of the trees.

    From what Christ has said in Matthew, it would seem it is up to us to "make the tree" what it is, good or corrupt. Since this is God speaking, what would we say was His intent with the trees in Eden.

  • #2
    OK, this might be a little "out there" for some of you, but this is my take on it:

    God created the tree to set His plan into motion. You have to understand the big picture on this. He had no desire "that any should perish", but he needed to get His plan rolling.

    The angels were created first. At some point in the past, some of them (probably about 1/3 of them, based on Revelation 12) rebelled, under the leadership of "Lucifer", who we also call Satan (which is Hebrew for "adversary".)

    God pronounced judgment on the rebellious angels and my guess is that they argued that He was being unfair in rendering an eternal judgment. So He decided to show them just how deserving they are of eternal punishment, so He created us for His "demonstration".

    You see, Satan and the demons (fallen angels), had/have direct access to the Throne of God in Heaven. God decided to demonstrate for them that He could create a species that would NOT have direct access to the Throne, such as they had, and that in spite of that limitation, large numbers of the new species would still choose for Him IN SPITE of the lack of visible proof and IN SPITE of there being problems in the world.

    So He made us "a little lower than angels" in the creational hierarchy.

    He then turned Satan loose on us (Adam and Eve) and allowed Satan to incite them to rebellion, which of course leads to the story we all know in the Bible.

    God demonstrated His mercy by dying for us "while we were yet sinners", disproving Satan's (probable) claim of God being "unmerciful". In addition, those of us who choose for God and wind up being faithful are further proof to the demons that they are without excuse. They had direct access to the Throne, for cryin' out loud, and yet they rebelled! We, the body of believers, however, have only the creation around us along with the Bible as His revelation of Himself to us, humankind. The fact that many of us will still respond with faith in God in spite of these limitations is only further proof that the demons did not "choose wisely". By virtue of our faithfulness in light of their rebellion even though they have seen the face of God and we have not, that is why we will "judge angels", as Paul said.

    So because of this, we not only have the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed to us, but on top of that, any works of faith that we perform in the meantime are credited to us as righteous on top of righteousness! By themselves, they would only be "as filthy rags" but when you add them to Christ's righteousness, they are worthy of the rewards we are promised in the New Testament.
    ----------------------------------------------
    When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

    Comment


    • #3
      I believe all the Word to be litteral unless it is "evidently a metafore." Therefore I believe God planted both trees.
      Tree of life for them to eat of like the rest on the trees in the garden.
      Tree of KOG&E was a real tree too.
      For men to Love God & be obedient to God out of love there must be two thing.
      1. Free will to choose.
      2. Opportunity to sin. This one gets very little attention.
      Temporal example: We have the free will to choose what we want to eat for supper. Get to the table & there is Cornbread & Water every time then free will is a moot point. Free will in tact but no choices to exersice that free will with. There has to be something more on the table.
      God gave man a free will to choose so love & obedience would not be robotic but a concious choice. IF there was no tree of KOG&E there would be no opportunity & therefore no choice to love & obey.
      God of Creation gave both.
      Man fell. Jesus rose. Man still has the free will & opportunity through the call of God our Holy Spirit.
      Gods plan is simple enough for the country boy to understand. It is the deep theologians that make it hard.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Teke View Post
        Rebel777 brought up some questions about the two trees in relation to Adam and God's plan. This thread is to further explore these type of questions.

        Here is the question, "One might wonder why God planted the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place and secondly forbid A&E to eat from it. Was it just a test or is there something deeper than that? Did death enter the world as a punishment from God for disobedience or was it an automatic result, cause and effect so to say."
        Greetings Teke,

        I think what often gets overlooked regarding this specific tree is that it was able to make one wise, knowing both good AND EVIL. Prior to eating from the forbidden tree Adam and Eve knew nothing of evil or its consquences. If man never knows evil, can he truly know love?

        Many Blessings,
        RW

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        • #5
          YOO HOO! Phaeton?! Where are you?!

          Sorry, just waiting on another to perhaps bring up what I think they may bring up on this thread.

          Let me just say real quick, the ONLY provider of everlasting life is Christ IMHO. So the Tree of Life would be a direct image, representation of, or even Christ himself.

          Yuke

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Teke View Post
            Since this is God speaking, what would we say was His intent with the trees in Eden.
            He let man free in the garden to eat from the tree of life but warned him that death would result from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God also allowed the serpent into the garden to tempt them. So we know they had free will.

            I would hazard to guess that Gods intent was to begin the very long process, by our standards, of redemption. All it took was a tree.
            Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
            C. S. Lewis

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            • #7
              Originally posted by calidog View Post
              I would hazard to guess that Gods intent was to begin the very long process, by our standards, of redemption. All it took was a tree.
              You got it.
              ----------------------------------------------
              When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

              Comment


              • #8
                Literal: two separate trees; both bearing literal edible fruit.

                They did not have the concept of something being right or wrong, that concept is what we take for granted, after the fact, since we are born with that divine factor of conscience inherited from A&E.

                The Angels, on the other hand, apparently had the KOG&E, they being created, not born, and on a higher level than man.
                Like animals that neither wear clothes nor have the divine KOG&E factor present in their lives, A&E were dealt with by reason of consequences.

                [Adam and Eve were much higher than animals but they did have in common these two factors: not having the knowledge of good and evil, and connected with that was their not wearing clothes, which like the animals, was not held against them because they were made to live unashamedly naked in the garden. God made it easy for them; not having the burden the angels bore with having to deal with right and wrong. And since they were not created to deal with the effects of that knowledge and since receiving that knowledge would open up the door for accountable and inevitable sin and judgement, it was God's wisdom to equate the eating of that tree with death.]

                It wasn't because it was wrong, that they should not eat of that tree, it was a consequential thing: if they did it, it would cause them to die. The tree of the KOG&E was in effect the tree of death. So there were two trees, the one giving life, the other, death.

                Both the angels and man had the freedom of choice to choose either death or life. Otherwise love is not love since love has to be a voluntary choice. The voluntary choice for the angels to love God or not, came through their choice of doing either good or evil. But since mankind did not have the KOG&E, their freewill ability to love God or not, came through either doing one thing or doing another; neither of which was based on one being right and another wrong. To eat of the tree of death (the tree of the KOG&E) was understood to make them cease their existence with God. It was consequential without the right and wrong factor.
                God does not force people to follow him, it is their choice, out of a love for Him and the truth.

                Under one tree, mankind inherited death; under another, at Calvary, he was given a way back to eternal life. Like the "law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not", God did not delete the KOG&E but rather gave us the means of handling it by his grace to do the good and not the evil, since the law cannot be deleted or broken that says the wages of sin is death.

                And like in the book of Esther, instead of deleting the law, God initiated another law through Christ, even the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that enables us to overcome the law of sin and death that previously dictated the actions of the children of Adam before their being made a part of the last Adam's body; the church.

                And like in the garden, believers in Jesus can be deceived into relinquishing their eternal life with God.
                How?
                By becoming deceived into living a life of doing what the NT says will cause the doers thereof to NOT inherit the kingdom of God. Paul expressed this very concern in 2 Cor. 11.

                1 Cor. 6:9

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the posts so far.

                  Another interesting point of view I've studied is one which looks at the types given (paradise, the trees), in relation to mankinds creation. That is from the perspective of a birth. Paradise being the womb and the trees being a psychological metaphor of what happens at birth.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by longtooth View Post
                    I believe all the Word to be litteral unless it is "evidently a metafore."
                    A question I would ask about this is, how do you tell the difference when your dealing with ancient literature and it's pictographic methodology. An example would be as when we read of fire or swords coming from the mouth of a human being. And knowing this type of depiction is also seen in ancient pictographic language. In a picture, such as Egyptian hieroglyphics, such a scene doesn't actually mean that people breathed fire, but that whatever they spoke held great power.

                    Maybe an analogy would be a better term than metaphor.
                    Since if you didn't possess the terminology to express or communicate something literal verbally, you would revert to an analogy to express what your trying to communicate.

                    Metaphor and analogy can both be very literal. ie. a metaphor, "our God is a mighty fortress". an analogy, "the heart is a pump". Both can be understood very literally.

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                    • #11
                      Mt 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

                      34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

                      Best add 12:34 there

                      God told us of the fruit, and yes we can call or make "of it" what we will, satan did.
                      But God warned us -
                      "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
                      THAT IS THE FRUIT of the tree !
                      The Tree of life- and the tree of Death
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      "Let no man deceive you"

                      I also am "man" - this includes myself !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It is a mistake, IMO, to think redemption is God's ultimate plan. A couple of thoughts.

                        1. RW has it right. The tree is not of wisdom but of knowledge of good and evil. It was the three fold temptation we see in scripture 1. lust of the eyes (good to look at), 2. lust of the flesh (good for food), 3. boastful pride of life (desirable to make one wise).

                        2. God's ultimate plan is to make us like Jesus and to sum up everything in Christ. This was his ultimate intention from the get go. (Romans 8 and other epistles.)

                        With reason 2 in mind, let's look at Jesus. He was "slain before the foundations of the world". In other words, Jesus was already dead to himself. 1 Cor 13 shows that "love does not seek it's own". Love never fails and endures to the end. Jesus showed what the first Adam should have been like. He said no to the tree of knowledge when he was driven to the wilderness for the same three temptations that Adam and Eve failed at. (Though Jesus temptations were far worse for he was in a fallen world.)

                        The command from Jesus is for us to "take up our cross and follow Him". We too are to be "slain". The tree of knowledge of good and evil was put there as a test for Adam and Eve. They were to say no to themselves and yes to God. In order to do so, they would have to eat from the tree of life. Then, I think another test would have come along. And again, one would eat of the Tree of Life and pass that test too. That is what we do today. We eat of Jesus and overcome. Each step along the way, the cross is worked further and further into us, until we are like Jesus.

                        Redemption is not the focal point of God's plan, it is just the starting point!

                        Finally, let us not say that God makes man sick in order to make man well. What kind of mother would feed her child poison in order to nurse that child back to health? We would rightly put such a woman in jail! Yet, some teach that about God. God is love. Love does not do such a thing.
                        Matt 9:13
                        13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
                        NASU

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                        • #13
                          Redemption is not the focal point of God's plan, it is just the starting point!


                          Arrow of truth from the Bow of God.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IamBill View Post
                            Mt 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

                            34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

                            Best add 12:34 there

                            God told us of the fruit, and yes we can call or make "of it" what we will, satan did.
                            But God warned us -
                            "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
                            THAT IS THE FRUIT of the tree !
                            The Tree of life- and the tree of Death
                            "The tree is known for it's fruit". Man would have to experience death to know "good" as well as "evil".
                            If life is good, then knowing that is subject to death just as much as knowing evil.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                              1. RW has it right. The tree is not of wisdom but of knowledge of good and evil. It was the three fold temptation we see in scripture 1. lust of the eyes (good to look at), lust of the flesh (good for food), boastful pride of life (desirable to make one wise).
                              To paraphrase scripture, no temptation takes hold of man except what is natural to him. Meaning it is a natural thing for a human being to experience the passions of his humanity.

                              Roger's post did make a good point. But the good also entailed death.


                              Finally, let us not say that God makes man sick in order to make man well. What kind of mother would feed her child poison in order to nurse that child back to health? We would rightly put such a woman in jail! Yet, some teach that about God. God is love. Love does not do such a thing.
                              I don't think He makes man sick, but shows him his weakness and how strength from God is found in weakness.

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