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Archive for January, 2012

Genesis 3:22, “…And now, lest he (man) put forth his hand and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” The sentence is finished, not with words, but with an act. That hints of an urgent need to keep Adam and Eve away from the tree of life, and gives us a clue concerning the physical nature of the tree. Prior to that time, they had not been forbidden to eat from the tree of life.

What would the possibilities have been if man had also eaten from the tree of life after taking the forbidden fruit of knowledge? The Script leaves it to the reader to discern the answer. Think of some who would still be living; men such as Hitler, Stalin… What if eternal life were an option for man in his present state? Who would decide who’s to live on, and who should not? It would give new meaning to the word “elite.” The competition for survival, and dominance would become infinitely worse than it now is.

I believe that life is a gift, and that we should treasure all life as such. We’re here through no fault, or merit of our own. We didn’t create ourselves, and we’re not some freak accident of nature. I see something very dark in the creation and destruction of embryos in order to obtain stem cells. I believe that scientists are after more than replacement substances and parts for us. I think they’re looking for the secrets of life itself.

Where is knowledge taking us? If man were to learn to create, or resurrect life, then I believe we would lose it. If man could live on indefinitely in this body, then who would return to God? According to the Script, God wants us to live forever. If life without him wouldn’t eventually become something worse than death, then why would God have barred us from the tree of life? God wants us to have life, and not to simply exist forever in the misery of evil (John 10:10).

The Lord’s own terrible death draws us to him, and changes us. As bad as death is, he has been united with us in it. Death is our enemy, and his. Death is as 1st. Corinthians 15:26 puts it, “The last enemy that will be destroyed.” Jesus said (John 12:32-34), “If I am lifted up (on the cross)… I will draw all to myself.” He reaches out to all through his cross, and he touches some.

You may have heard his cross symbolically spoken of as our tree of life, but you may not know that the Script first makes that connection. I’m working on a post about that. Yahweh Elohim keeps the way to Eden; to everlasting life in paradise. There is no other way.

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The situation is more serious than it sometimes seems on the surface. Vestiges of Eden still exist upon earth, and life can be wonderful sometimes. We each try to build our own little paradise here, but as in Rudyard Kipling’s “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,” a serpent always seems to find its way into the garden. (Note: Kipling names the cobra in his story “Nag.” The Indian Cobra is called “Nag” in Hindi, and other Indian languages. No doubt there’s a connection between “Nag,” and “Nachash,” the Hebrew word for the serpent in Genesis 3:1.)

Isaiah 11:9 speaks of a time when, “They will neither harm nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord…” There will be no danger. Isaiah 11:8 says, “the infant will play on the hole of the asp, and the young child will put his hand into the crevice of the viper.” That day has certainly not yet come. The “knowledge of the Lord” is rejected by the earth. The attitude is, “Thanks anyway, but we’ve got our own.”

Knowledge is a tool that can be used to beat the other person down, and make them look small. I’ve seen people make others look like utter fools, and I didn’t like it. I guess it happens to each of us in one way or another. I think it’s good policy to try to pay little attention to it when you’re on the receiving end, but be very sensitive about being on the other. Jesus said to call no one a fool (Matthew 5:22).

Knowledge pulls us right into the game, and we must have knowledge to compete, and more of it than the “enemy.” If we aren’t very careful, it pulls us away from God. Knowledge is power, and the power-hungry crave it. It can be used to enslave others, and deceive them. It can get you money and riches. You can take it right out of the hands of the naive.

You can easily think that you love someone until you get to know them better. Then knowledge can turn you away from them if you let it. People may seem to like us until they get to know us better, and then they may know better. With every byte of knowledge come the possibility of misusing it. There are so many branches of the tree of knowledge that you can hardly tell one from another. Knowledge can make God seem to be just another of the gods of the myths.

It’s no wonder that God is sick of it. First Corinthians 1:21 tells us that since, “…the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” His love reaches out to us through his death on the cross, trying to bypass our mental reservations. We can see something about him there that we can learn no other way. We can’t keep trying to kill that love, can we?

He knows us, but yet he loves us.  Love must be something that reaches beyond knowledge, to change things. He has that, and we need that, to love him, and to love others (ref. “the Foolishness of God,” in my April 2010 archives).

It isn’t wise to wait for knowledge to force us to accept the reality of God, for love cannot be forced. It must be received as a gift, and given in the same manner. God knows it won’t change our hearts and minds to force “right” upon us. Our interpretations of knowledge can alienate us from God forever, and that would be a fate worse than death. Jude 1:13 calls that separation, “the mist of darkness forever”. (ref. part one of “Death,” in my Dec. 2010 archives)

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I spent some time writing on the logical significance of the Tree of Knowledge before I began speculating whether it was a physical tree. I did that because at this time in history it’s easy to see the dangers of knowledge. Symbolically, the Tree of Knowledge continues to exist today and anyone should be able to see the dangers. Linking our misapplication of knowledge to the tree of Eden is also something the church has pretty much ignored.

Even though I’m now trying to take a look at the biological side of this, I don’t want to downplay the part we play in our own learning process. We have more choice in the matter than we may know. I’m going to suggest some subjects for study as I go along. Wikipedia has some pretty good information on Neurobiology and the plasticity of the human brain. These subjects relate to the way our choices and thinking patterns affect us physically.

There is a logical process to learning, but there are also biological processes involved. That’s something we don’t typically think much about, but it’s true. Foods and environment can affect gene expression (ref. study, Nutrigenomics and Phenotype). Our bodies derive the necessary elements for brain function, and so on, from the foods that we eat.

A question has come up about whether some form of plant DNA from food eaten could have found its way into our DNA. I don’t know that it’s impossible, but I also don’t know if the effect of the fruit of a tree of knowledge would have to be that direct. As some drugs do, it had some immediate effects upon Adam and Eve. A paranoia (a fear, and aversion to God) was introduced into their minds, and they began to interpret sensory data differently. The death process was introduced into their bodies, and they began to slowly age.

Plants and animals have some things in common. They had the same creator so why wouldn’t they display similarities? Why design a whole new system for animals if a DNA system similar to that of the plant’s would work? It would naturally follow that if devolution takes place, then mutations in plants could translate into problems for animals that eat them (study ref. Mutagens in foods) Some known organisms also more directly affect both plants and animals. Fusarium fungi, for instance, cause disease in both plants and animals.

We don’t see the picture as it once was, but we see it in the present. Both plants and animals can produce certain proteins such as Cytochrome C. DNA copying “errors” over time have caused Cytochrome C variations in different organisms. There is less difference in Cytochrome C from one animal to another than from animal to plant. DNA copy “errors” and such affect heredity, but God intended variety to exist. Even among plants, he meant for individuals to exist, and not for the offspring to be carbon copies of the parents.

God-given individuality, and ability to adapt to environmental changes are not proof of evolution. Energy and matter didn’t just appear from nowhere and nothing. Life was not spontaneously generated from lifeless matter by some freak accident. Some single-celled organism didn’t morph into a plant, and then become an animal that spawned a man. How is it that evolutionists can accept these things without question, yet think it’s impossible for the first humans to have eaten something that affected heredity?

Science is now beginning to use God’s mechanisms to “intelligently” design mix and match creations of their own (study ref. living computers and E. coli computer). Isn’t that evidence that the Genesis warning about the tree of knowledge is justified.

We have no idea whether the tree of knowledge continues to physically exist today, or what kind of tree it was. I believe it was an actual tree, because all through the Script the story is treated as if an actual history is being given. Also, the changes that have since taken place in nature are evidence of a biological disaster. That which we call nature, no longer reflects the nature of God. It reflects something dark and confusing.

Eating from the tree of knowledge was more than a simple act of disobedience. It was an act with deadly consequences. It put Adam, Eve, and their descendants in danger of something more dangerous than death; not of becoming like God, or “gods,” but of becoming Antigods…

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Adam and Eve had never experienced fear until they ate from the tree of knowledge. After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve developed a paranoia. They dressed themselves in leaves, and when God came to visit them, they hid in the trees. It’s interesting to me that paper for our books comes from the pulp of trees, and that “leaf,” is another word for a page.

Children playing hide and seek sometimes think that if they can’t see you, then you can’t see them. Sometimes, it’s only their eyes that are hidden. That’s the way it is in this forest of books and ideas in which we live. We can’t see God because of the way we educate ourselves. The knowledge that we think we have closes our eyes to the knowledge of God. It isn’t only Atheism and Evolutionism that make it difficult to see God, but also Religion. Many people hide behind a god of their own making. They’re afraid of God, but not so afraid of a god they can control.

I’m very conscious of the fact that I’m not qualified to do a thorough study of the Tree of Knowledge. You would need unbiased scientists from all fields, especially Genetics and Neurobiology. You would need language experts (all languages), computer experts, theologians, and endless others. No one “puffed up” by their own knowledge (1st. Corinthians 8:1) is qualified, and everyone would have to cooperate fully.

As you can quickly grasp, that isn’t going to happen until the Lord’s return. People knowing only what little can be gleaned here and there have to try to get the word across, so I’m going to do the best I can. I know that God helps us, and some begin to understand and believe, in spite of our weaknesses.

I think the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:16-17 & 3:1-8) was an actual tree, though the logical and symbolical meanings are as profound as its physical effects. I don’t know how it had the genetic effect that it had, but I do know that substances in many plants affect our minds, as well as our bodies. Some drugs can induce paranoia, but there is probably much more to the forbidden fruit than that. Scientists studying the effects that food substances have upon genetics are beginning to unravel some strange secrets. Modern science is proving that the foods we eat can alter genetics, just as the Script says of the forbidden fruit.

When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Science (from “Scientia,” the Latin word for knowledge), devolution, or deviation from design began to occur. Devi-ations from design don’t prove Evolution. They are evidence of Devolution instead. They show the influence of the Dev-ill (Hyll, or Heylel) upon creation. I hope to go into more detail on this next week, and furnish some references and topics for further study. Truth is truly stranger than fiction.

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