SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )

Joined: 2012/7/12
Posts: 28
Duluth, MN.


Thank you Blayne. I know some of these questions may seem elementary and thank you for putting up with them lol. I realize sin is an inner reality but for some reason never related it to this scripture in the way you did. Really I just wish to learn more about our Creator and His creation and the nature of our existence. Lately to me the subject of guilt in particular has been on my mind and I have the impression that part of the key to understanding it more fully lies in the creation account.

Sad to see you leave and I pray blessing for you wherever you go brother.

Nate Matheson

 2012/7/18 19:32Profile

Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


Hi! 'NMatheson'

On the contrary! I was profoundly moved by the sentiment of your questions. Your questions were FAR from elementary!
Using your own formulation: I'm very impressed with your acknowledgement that our Christian journey is inextricably linked to our Creator and His creation and the nature of our existence ... ummm, maybe more fully stated as: our Creator and His RE-creation and the nature of our spiritual existence. Regardless, I fully understood what you were saying and was much encouraged about you because of it.

Anyways, 'NMatheson', I wouldn't want you thinkin' that I'm some sort of Bible sleuth 'er scholar 'er anything like that. Jesus found me suffocated on the roadside of life; at a time when I was walking dazed and wounded in a land of stolen spirits.
The Bible says, "You have not because you ask not". I've learned that only those who are courageously honest about themselves and their condition can genuinely testify to the validity of Jesus saying: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".
I spent the first few years of my Christian life unable to reach beyond my protesting ego and thus failed to admit to my needs and opening myself to the healing power of God.

To put it bluntly: I was jus' a messed up guy who became desperately weary of the mess I was in and called out to the Name above every name.
But here too, I discovered yet another distinguishing separation. It's not sufficient to be satisfied with our being redeemed (rescued); we must also earnestly desire to be restored (re-created).

It was these two critical issues I mentioned above which eventually brought me to a critical fork-in-the-road; namely the difference between being a "disciple of Jesus" and a "disciple of the Kingdom".
It isn't that being a disciple of the kingdom is of a higher order or stature than the other; absolutely not! It merely involves a shift in focus; in keeping with the Scripture saying, "put your mind on things above".

There are many Christians who eagerly testify that they are "following Jesus". But I often catch myself asking the question: are they following Jesus's footPRINTS (righteous behavior) or His footSTEPS? ... "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am".

The followers of Jesus seem to know every rule in the book (so to speak); they have a moral judgement about everything earthly; are quick to to discern between good and evil in this visible world.
This is because they know the gospel ABOUT Jesus.

But the question we must ask ourselves is: what do we know about following after the footSTEPS of Jesus? What do we know about the gospel OF Jesus?
After all, it's only the gospel OF Jesus which invites us to follow in His footSTEPS.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I discovered that there are two different ways to follow Jesus: with our eyes focused on "things of above" or with our nose drawn to "things of the earth". This is how we should understand the Scripture saying, "made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus". Our focus changes from following after Jesus' footPRINTS on the shores of Galilee to following after His footSTEPS in the kingdom of God.

When reading the Bible, we always want to agree with the verse asking, "'Have you understood this?' They said to him, 'Yes'".
I sometimes suspect that this posture of Jesus, "He sighed deeply in His spirit", (Mark 8:12), applies to those insisting to follow only after the footPRINTS of Jesus.

The Scribes of Jesus' day were well-versed in the law and the prophets. Yet, they did not understand the words of Jesus. This was because they were spiritually blind and took the words of Jesus literally. They tried to fix the thoughts of Jesus on to the visible things and not on the invisible things concerning the kingdom of heaven. Paul remarked that there was a "veil over their minds", (2Cor 3:15).

Speaking about footPRINTS:
Usually the gospel message being preached today has for its subject one or more aspects of the person or the ministry of Jesus. This is the gospel 'ABOUT' Jesus.
This kind of knowledge is essential; absolutely! The gospel 'ABOUT' Jesus rightly forms the foundation of our faith. After all, the forgiveness of sins and our justification have been accomplished by a crucified Christ, and there is no salvation, deliverance, healing, restoration, fullness of the Holy Spirit, or growth to mature manhood except on the basis of the grace and truth which came through Jesus Christ, (John 1:17).
Therefore, it's not for nothing that Paul wrote, "For I decided to know nothing amongst you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified".

Speaking about footSTEPS:
Yet, the Lord had something else in mind when He spoke these prophetic words: "And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come", (Matt 24:14).

While the gospel ABOUT Jesus is the indispensable milk, it is insufficient as food for the development of God's children "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". This requires the preaching of the gospel 'OF' Jesus Christ ... the gospel message which Jesus Himself preached when He was on earth.

Matthew 3:24 says: "And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people". This was the gospel 'OF' Jesus.

Rather than preaching a gospel about Himself, our Lord revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven. His own personal walk was in the Kingdom of God, and His entire life was a manifestation of this fact. Apart from preaching, He also showed what life in the Kingdom of God was all about. In word and in deed He preached the 'gospel of glory'.

The gospel OF Jesus was a message absolutely new. Jesus explained the Father's nature, for no one had ever seen the Father, but Jesus revealed to us the Father who is in heaven. He was the firstborn of the New Creation, that is, the first new or spiritual man who made known the thoughts of God. He also exposed the evil powers which were resisting God's purposes and intents for man.

For all who understood His teachings, Jesus opened up an entirely new world. To those who followed after His footSTEPS, He gave the power to rule in the heavenly places.

The Old Covenant functioned in the visible world; it was a shadow of the things to come. As such it was unable to fully develop and mature those who served God. But Jesus invited His followers to share in a heavenly call which enabled them to actually strive for the spiritual maturity. This is why they focus their eyes on the crowned Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of their faith.

The gospel OF Jesus revealed that man is destined to be set free from the realm of darkness and the powers of darkness, to enter into the light of God's Kingdom. It proclaimed that man is destined to walk on the high road in the heavenly places and become perfectly equipped for every good work, (2Tim 3:16).

Jesus said of those who follow the footSTEPS of His Gospel message, "Scribes who had been trained for the Kingdom of heaven", or in other words: scribes who had become disciples or pupils of the Kingdom of heaven.

This means that the Gospel OF Jesus must also to be part of the Christian experience.

Those who follow the footSTEPS of Jesus, have their minds "set on things above". They have understood that having enormous knowledge of the word of God, (just as the scribes and Pharisees had), does not necessarily exclude being blinded to the Kingdom of heaven and consequently for the Master's message.

So, it is 'NMatheson' that we have to keep asking ourselves: have the leaders, the ministers, the pastors, the teachers and the elders of our churches really become disciples of the Kingdom? Are they pupils of the Kingdom of heaven? Or do they insist on turning the Kingdom into a matter of the visible world? Do they preach only the truncated gospel 'ABOUT' Jesus?

Those who only follow after the footPRINTS of Jesus mostly look forward to the Son of man's VISIBLE manifestation on this earth. But those who are following after the footSTEPS of Jesus have become disciples of the Kingdom of heaven and who first seek to become sons of God themselves, conformed to the image of the Son. It is for this reason they follow Him where He now is: in the heavenly places.

 2012/7/19 7:00Profile

Joined: 2010/1/9
Posts: 241

 Re: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

God intended for us to know LIFE! Besides, who knows how many other trees there were. He said "of all the trees in the garden you may freely eat but".... It was almost like they went straight for the "one" tree they were told not to eat from.

Rick Joyner has a great book called "There were two trees in the garden". It follows the theme of "knowledge vs "life" through the Word.



 2012/7/19 8:09Profile

Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


As Christians we know (or, at least we should know) that it is EARTHLY knowledge that is redundant.
Spiritual knowledge is absolutely necessary to the Christian walk. There can be no LIFE without knowledge; this is in keeping with "My people perish from a lack of KNOWLEDGE" ... it doesn't say for lack of life, (Hosea 4:6).
It is the lack of knowing the Word which causes the lack of life. Rick Joyner might have been better to speak about knowledge concerning the "Word of Life". (Phil 2:16, 1John 1:1).

 2012/7/19 8:23Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2007

 Re: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Genesis 2:9 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.

From Gods standpoint the result of Adam's probation was not left in uncertainty.

Before He formed him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, God knew exactly how the appointed test would terminate.

With this statement every Christian reader must be in accord, for, to deny God's foreknowledge is to deny His omniscience, and this is to repudiate one of the fundamental attributes of Deity.

But we must go further: not only had God a perfect foreknowledge of the outcome of Adam's trial, not only did His omniscient eye see Adam eating of the forbidden fruit, but He decreed beforehand that he should do so.

This is evident not only from the general fact that nothing happens save that which the Creator and Governor of the universe has eternally purposed, but also from the express declaration of Scripture that Christ as a Lamb "verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:20).

If, then, God had foreordained before the foundation of the world that Christ should, in due time, be offered as a Sacrifice for sin, then it is unmistakably evident that God had also foreordained sin should enter the world, and if so, that Adam should transgress and fall. In full harmony with this, God Himself placed in Eden the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and also allowed the Serpent to enter and deceive Eve.

Here then is the difficulty: If God has eternally decreed that Adam should eat of the tree, how could he be held responsible not to eat of it?

Formidable as the problem appears, nevertheless, it is capable of a solution, a solution, moreover, which can be grasped even by the finite mind.

The solution is to be found in the distinction between God's secret will and His revealed will.

Human responsibility is measured by our knowledge of God's revealed will; what God has told us, not what He has not told us, is the definer of our duty. So it was with Adam.

That God had decreed sin should enter this world through the disobedience of our first parents was a secret hid in His own breast. Of this Adam knew nothing, and that made all the difference so far as his responsibility was concerned.

Adam was quite unacquainted with the Creator's hidden counsels. What concerned him was God's revealed will. And that was plain! God had forbidden him to eat of the tree, and that was enough.

But God went further: He even warned Adam of the dire consequences which would follow should he disobey--death would be the penalty.

Transgression, then, on the part of Adam was entirely excuseless. Created with no evil nature in him, with a will in perfect equipoise, placed in the fairest environment, given dominion over all the lower creation, allowed full liberty with only a single restriction upon him, plainly warned of what would follow an act of insubordination to God, there was every possible inducement for Adam to preserve his innocence; and, should he fail and fall, then by every principle of righteousness his blood must lie upon his own head, and his guilt be imputed to all in whose behalf he acted.

Had God disclosed to Adam His purpose that sin would enter this world, and that He had decreed Adam should eat of the forbidden fruit, it is obvious that Adam could not have been held responsible for the eating of it.

But in that God withheld the knowledge of His counsels from Adam, his accountability was not interfered with.

Again; had God created Adam with a bias toward evil, then human responsibility had been impaired and man's probation merely one in name. But inasmuch as Adam was included among that which God at the end of the sixth day, pronounced "Very good.", and, inasmuch as man was made "upright" (Ecc. 7:29), then every mouth must be "stopped" and "the whole world" must acknowledge itself "guilty before God" (Rom 3:I9).

Once more, it needs to be carefully borne in mind that God did not decree that Adam should sin and then inject into Adam an inclination to evil, in order that His decree might be carried out.

No; "God cannot be tempted, neither tempteth He any man" (Jas. I:I3). Instead, when the Serpent came to tempt Eve, God caused her to remember His command forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and of the penalty attached to disobedience!

Thus, though God had decreed the Fall, in no sense was He the Author of Adam's sin, and at no point was Adam's responsibility impaired.

Thus may we admire and adore the "manifold wisdom of God", in devising a way whereby His eternal decree should be accomplished, and yet the responsibility of His creatures be preserved intact.

Perhaps a further word should be added concerning the decretive will of God, particularly in its relation to evil.

First of all we take the high ground that, whatever things God does or permits, are right, just, and good, simply because God does or permits them.

When Luther gave answer to the question, "Whence it was that Adam was permiitted to fall, and corrupt his whole posterity; when God could have prevented him from falling, etc", he said, "God is a Being whose will acknowledges no cause: neither is it for us to prescribe rules to His sovereign pleasure, or call Him to account for what He does. He has neither superior nor equal; and His will is the rule of all things. He did not thus will such and such things because they were right, and He was bound to will them; but they are therefore equitable and right because He wills them. The will of man, indeed, may be influenced and moved; but God's will never can. To assert the contrary is to undeify Him".

To affirm that God decreed the entrance of sin into His universe, and that He foreordained all its fruits and activities, is to say that which, at first may shock the reader; but reflection should show that it is far more shocking to insist that sin has invaded His dominions against His will, and that its exercise is outside His jurisdiction: for in such a case where would be His omnipotency?

No; to recognise that God has foreordained all the activities of evil, is to see that He is the Governor of sin: His will determines its exercise, His power regulates its bounds (Psa. 76:10).

He is neither the Inspirer nor the Infuser of sin in any of His creatures, but He is its Master, by which we mean God's management of the wicked is so entire that, they can do nothing save that which His hand and counsel, from everlasting, determined should be done.

Though nothing contrary to holiness and righteousness can ever emanate from God, yet He has, for His own wise ends, ordained His creatures to fall into sin.

Had sin never been permitted, how could the justice of God have been displayed in

How could the wisdom of God have been manifested in so wondrously over-ruling it?

How could the grace of God have been exhibited in pardoning it?

How could the power of God have been exercised in subduing it?

A very solemn and striking proof of Christ's acknowledgment of God's decretal of sin is seen in His' treatment of Judas.

The Saviour knew full well that Judas would betray Him, yet we never read that He expostulated with him!

Instead, He said to him, "That thou doest do quickly" (John I3:27)!

Yet, mark this was said after he had received the sop and Satan had taken possession of his heart. Judas was already prepared for and determined on his traiterous work, therefore did Christ permissively (bowing to His Father's ordination) bid him go forth to his awful work.

Thus, though God is not the Author of sin, and though sin is contrary to His holy nature, yet the existence and operations of it are not contrary to His will, but subservient to it.

God never tempts man to sin, but He, has, by His eternal counsels (which He is now executing), determined its course.

Moreover, though God has decreed man's sins, yet is man responsible not to commit them, and blameable because he does.

Strikingly were these two sides of this awful subject brought together by Christ in that statement of His:

"Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come (because God has foreordained them); but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh" (Matt. 18:7).

So, too, though all which took place at Calvary was by the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23), nevertheless, "wicked hands" crucified the Lord of glory, and, in consequence, His blood has righteously rested upon them and on their children.

High mysteries are these, yet it is both our happy privilege and bounden duty to humbly receive whatsoever God has been pleased to reveal concerning them in His Word of Truth. - by AWP

 2012/7/19 23:31Profile


He had decreed Adam should eat of the forbidden fruit

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Jas 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

GOD's Foreknowledge of Adam's transgression - Yes.

That GOD is the Author of sin - Definitely not.

The Lamb was foreordained/slain before the creation of the world 'because' of GOD's foreknowledge.

GOD did not create robots - but desires that men/women would love/obey Him of their own freewill, as seen clearly through Job.

Moreover, though God has decreed man's sins,
yet is man responsible not to commit them,
and blameable because he does.

This could drive a Christian or even an unsaved person insane.

Thank GOD there aren't many that hold to this belief.

 2012/7/20 0:16

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: Jesus-is-GOD

RE //Thank GOD there aren't many that hold to this belief.//

acctually there are many that hold to that belief especially in the more educated Christian elite
and more ascribing to it every day. trully what is written is Historic Protestantism, The Gospel of Grace as they like to call themselves.

 2012/7/20 0:28Profile


If 7 point Calvinism is on the increase, then I KNOW we're in the Last Days.

I'm going to email that post to my Pastor.

It's not "historic" as far as the early Church goes.

Bless you!

{eta} Yes, I know who wrote it.

 2012/7/20 0:35

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: correct myself

I wrote RE: //trully what is written is Historic Protestantism, The Gospel of Grace as they like to call themselves.//

I should correct myself from what I read it sounds very simmilar to me to what I have read of Luthers Bondage of the Will and Calvins institutes of which I am no expert.

If what was wrote differs from Historic Protestantism, I am open for correction.

 2012/7/20 0:49Profile


I'm sorry PaPa - you're right in your terminology - I only meant it's not "historic" to the Early Church.
Had posted the ECF on "freewill" not too long ago and was thinking of that and others.

They don't believe in the last days neither - so ... just try to agree where we can - but I just worry about some young folk getting all confused over their temptation to sin and where it's coming from - then blaming GOD.

Excuse my caps earlier as well. Not yelling, just emphasis, for a lack of bold print.

Theres just so much Scripture that could be posted but - it won't help.

'Thanks' for your post on 'forgiving' the other night.

 2012/7/20 1:00

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy