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Old 03-17-2019, 11:34 AM   #1
ZNPaaneah
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Default Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

It seems the thread on "the problem of evil" is too difficult to discuss as everyone gets entrenched in their dogmatic position.

So why not break the big question into a smaller, easier question to answer.

We know that God created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because Genesis tells us He did. We also know that the tree is good for food and one to make you wise, knowing good and evil. Again, this is confirmed by God.

We also know the day in which you eat it you will die. And finally we know that God commanded us not to eat it even though He planted it in the center of the garden.

So then if this tree is good and holy, can someone explain the purpose of this tree. What purpose of God did this tree serve?
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
It seems the thread on "the problem of evil" is too difficult to discuss as everyone gets entrenched in their dogmatic position.

So why not break the big question into a smaller, easier question to answer.

We know that God created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because Genesis tells us He did. We also know that the tree is good for food and one to make you wise, knowing good and evil. Again, this is confirmed by God.

We also know the day in which you eat it you will die. And finally we know that God commanded us not to eat it even though He planted it in the center of the garden.

So then if this tree is good and holy, can someone explain the purpose of this tree. What purpose of God did this tree serve?
Maybe the fruit was a hallucinogenic, and was attributed to God, cuz God made it. And like hallucinogenics, they found God.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

The TOTKOGAE can't be evil because in eating it God says "they have become like us, knowing good and evil". If in eating it you become like God in some way, it cannot be evil.

It is interesting that the forbidden tree is called the knowledge of good and evil. Its very name represents your own experience if you partake of it. Disobeying God, turning away from God's commands, (i.e., evil) is inextricably intertwined in the partaking of it, thus, you "know" evil by participating in it. Another named tree, say, the Tree of Foul Language, doesn't have the same intertwining of experience/participation if you disobey God in eating it.

I don't think there was anything special about the tree, tbh. I think it's just the one God chose to forbid. But God had to cut them off from the tree life die after they partook because God couldn't have them partake of the tree of life and live forever, and be stuck with two eternal disobedient creatures on His hands.

This is a very simplistic thought, but I think the tree is the means for man to exercise their free will to choose God. In this case, choosing God is obeying him and NOT partaking of the tree. Otherwise, if every single tree was okay to eat, what choice does man have? God gave us free will; He has to provide a way for us to exercise it.

P.S. I have to say I appreciate this forum and AltViews too. I haven't gone looking, and I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't come across another place online where people can discuss and exchange ideas and interpretations about these things. It is helpful, and it's stuff I think about, but there aren't many people in my real life who would want to wring through these things in a meaningful way.

Last edited by Trapped; 03-17-2019 at 03:20 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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The TOTKOGAE can't be evil because in eating it God says "they have become like us, knowing good and evil".
I think the tree, being the "forbidden fruit", deals with the "what if" they disobey. The act of disobedience is the sin, not the tree, and it was a simple derivative of the fact that man had free will.

But I think the fruit immediately converts the human experience into a simulation because He says "in that day you will die". Eating that tree introduces sin into a sinless world. So it is "simulated sin", and just like our use of computer simulations today to teach, this simulation teaches us to know the difference between "good and evil". It is not necessary to understand the why if you are obeying God, but if you are going to be disobedient then you need to learn where that leads, that could be the wake up call you need, or that could lead you to a revelation to see the wisdom of God.

I think it is a simulation because what is death? Our body decays but not our soul or spirit and later we will be raised with a new body. Once we die we simply become spectators, the cloud of witnesses, waiting for the rest of God's people to complete the age. If a thousand years is as a day to God (and those in eternity) our life could be like a 2 hour simulation. It can also be viewed as a "test" that determines if we enter the kingdom or not.

So then, that solves two issues, the God who created everything created the TOTKOGAE, by eating it sin, death and all sorts of evil entered creation. This was created by God, but like He said, don't be afraid of the one that can kill the body but can't harm the soul. This is not "real" evil because it can only harm the body, which became the flesh when we ate from the Tree, and the purpose of the Flesh is that we would know "good and evil".
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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I think the tree, being the "forbidden fruit", deals with the "what if" they disobey. The act of disobedience is the sin, not the tree, and it was a simple derivative of the fact that man had free will.
All this talk of free will. Was Adam's free will involved to get created? And what kind of free will is there in dying?

was it his free will to be put in a garden with a bad tree and a wise ol' walking talking serpent? And where was his free will to be put to sleep and have a rib removed.

Free will? Bahahahahahaha
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil makes one wise so that they can be "like" God. It is an illusion. You can appear "like" God, speak "like" God, dress in fancy robes, etc. So it is righteous that if you choose to live an illusion God turns your life into an illusion.

There is the appearance of wealth -- people can appear to have billions of dollars, yet "naked they came into the world and naked they will leave". That wealth is a vapor, a smoke.

We all know that the Bible teaches that everything is vanity. So then, why wouldn't evil also be a vanity? Your life is an illusion.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
It seems the thread on "the problem of evil" is too difficult to discuss as everyone gets entrenched in their dogmatic position.

So why not break the big question into a smaller, easier question to answer.

We know that God created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because Genesis tells us He did. We also know that the tree is good for food and one to make you wise, knowing good and evil. Again, this is confirmed by God.

We also know the day in which you eat it you will die. And finally we know that God commanded us not to eat it even though He planted it in the center of the garden.

So then if this tree is good and holy, can someone explain the purpose of this tree. What purpose of God did this tree serve?
The power of this story is demonstrated by the fact that it endlessly fascinates people. And that seems to be because it captures the human dilemma in a way that continues to generate interpretations and yet no interpretation exhausts its meaning.

To state the obvious, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was both good and evil. I read it as a metaphor for the moral/ethical human perspective.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Maybe the fruit was a hallucinogenic, and was attributed to God, cuz God made it. And like hallucinogenics, they found God.
Another name for some of these drugs is entheogen i.e. a class of psychoactive substances that induce any type of spiritual experience. So while the name "hallucinagen" suggests that the drug's effect is illusory, the name "entheogen" suggests that the effect produces some sense of the divine.

That's one naturalistic as opposed to a supernatural possibility. I think that the moral/ethical POV developed out of human social interaction and language. Of course, we know that at least in some societies entheogens play a role. What exactly that role was, I'm not sure.

Since we're talking about the cultural evolution of pre-literate societies, I doubt that it is exactly known how this occurred or the role it played. But, you've studied it more than me. So, what's your impression of the current state of knowledge on it?
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
The TOTKOGAE can't be evil because in eating it God says "they have become like us, knowing good and evil". If in eating it you become like God in some way, it cannot be evil.

It is interesting that the forbidden tree is called the knowledge of good and evil. Its very name represents your own experience if you partake of it. Disobeying God, turning away from God's commands, (i.e., evil) is inextricably intertwined in the partaking of it, thus, you "know" evil by participating in it. Another named tree, say, the Tree of Foul Language, doesn't have the same intertwining of experience/participation if you disobey God in eating it.

I don't think there was anything special about the tree, tbh. I think it's just the one God chose to forbid. But God had to cut them off from the tree life die after they partook because God couldn't have them partake of the tree of life and live forever, and be stuck with two eternal disobedient creatures on His hands.

This is a very simplistic thought, but I think the tree is the means for man to exercise their free will to choose God. In this case, choosing God is obeying him and NOT partaking of the tree. Otherwise, if every single tree was okay to eat, what choice does man have? God gave us free will; He has to provide a way for us to exercise it.

P.S. I have to say I appreciate this forum and AltViews too. I haven't gone looking, and I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't come across another place online where people can discuss and exchange ideas and interpretations about these things. It is helpful, and it's stuff I think about, but there aren't many people in my real life who would want to wring through these things in a meaningful way.
That's an interesting thought that I've never heard before. There was nothing special about the tree. It was the choice that God confronted the pair with that brought them the knowledge of good and evil. Brilliant.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Your life is an illusion.
But a very persistent and stubborn one.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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The power of this story is demonstrated by the fact that it endlessly fascinates people. And that seems to be because it captures the human dilemma in a way that continues to generate interpretations and yet no interpretation exhausts its meaning.

To state the obvious, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was both good and evil. I read it as a metaphor for the moral/ethical human perspective.
Not sure it is a metaphor. Archaelogical evidence has been found that the oldest site was a place to worship the creation and built by hunter gatherers. It seems the temptation to be "like God" was what caused human civilization to veer into the agricultural revolution. In order to feed the workers there is evidence of a field nearby that was used for this. As a result you begin the idea of slave labor, poor mono culture diet, and all for what -- to build a temple to worship the creation. Presumably you had priests, etc.


This is contrary to the previous theory that you would need the "wealth" of the agricultural revolution to support building temples and establishing religion. Instead it seems the building of temples led to the agricultural revolution.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:29 AM   #12
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it seems the building of temples led to the agricultural revolution.
But it seems ... just like to some it seems that it was entheogen's that woke early humans up to other worlds, filled with ghost-like beings, to worship.

That would make the steps : 1) entheogens 2) worship 3) agriculture.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:43 AM   #13
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Not sure it is a metaphor. Archaelogical evidence has been found that the oldest site was a place to worship the creation and built by hunter gatherers. It seems the temptation to be "like God" was what caused human civilization to veer into the agricultural revolution. In order to feed the workers there is evidence of a field nearby that was used for this. As a result you begin the idea of slave labor, poor mono culture diet, and all for what -- to build a temple to worship the creation. Presumably you had priests, etc.


This is contrary to the previous theory that you would need the "wealth" of the agricultural revolution to support building temples and establishing religion. Instead it seems the building of temples led to the agricultural revolution.
So much of your argument is speculation. How did archaeologists determine they were worshiping creation? Isn't seeking to be like God ethically ambiguous? As evidence of that I give you the word "godliness". Isn't that supposed to be a good thing according to New Testament authors?

Don't get me wrong I'm all for a scientific archaeological and paleontological research into this stuff. But the likelihood that they'll ever get back to Adam and Eve in our lifetime is slim to none. Meanwhile if you read the story merely as history, it's over and done with-- dead history. Most people don't see the relevance of it to their lives.

Paul on the other hand brought the story new life by interpreting it metaphorically comparing first man Adam to last man Adam. The way I read it is in line with him. It really doesn't matter if it literally happened in history that way or not. It reflects ancient Jewish wisdom.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
The TOTKOGAE can't be evil because in eating it God says "they have become like us, knowing good and evil". If in eating it you become like God in some way, it cannot be evil.

It is interesting that the forbidden tree is called the knowledge of good and evil. Its very name represents your own experience if you partake of it. Disobeying God, turning away from God's commands, (i.e., evil) is inextricably intertwined in the partaking of it, thus, you "know" evil by participating in it. Another named tree, say, the Tree of Foul Language, doesn't have the same intertwining of experience/participation if you disobey God in eating it.

I don't think there was anything special about the tree, tbh. I think it's just the one God chose to forbid. But God had to cut them off from the tree life die after they partook because God couldn't have them partake of the tree of life and live forever, and be stuck with two eternal disobedient creatures on His hands.

This is a very simplistic thought, but I think the tree is the means for man to exercise their free will to choose God. In this case, choosing God is obeying him and NOT partaking of the tree. Otherwise, if every single tree was okay to eat, what choice does man have? God gave us free will; He has to provide a way for us to exercise it.

P.S. I have to say I appreciate this forum and AltViews too. I haven't gone looking, and I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't come across another place online where people can discuss and exchange ideas and interpretations about these things. It is helpful, and it's stuff I think about, but there aren't many people in my real life who would want to wring through these things in a meaningful way.
Thanks. Makes a whole lot more sense than saying the tree was hallucinogenic.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:56 AM   #15
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So much of your argument is speculation. How did archaeologists determine they were worshiping creation? Isn't seeking to be like God ethically ambiguous? As evidence of that I give you the word "godliness". Isn't that supposed to be a good thing according to New Testament authors?

Don't get me wrong I'm all for a scientific archaeological and paleontological research into this stuff. But the likelihood that they'll ever get back to Adam and Eve in our lifetime is slim to none. Meanwhile if you read the story merely as history, it's over and done with-- dead history. Most people don't see the relevance of it to their lives.

Paul on the other hand brought the story new life by interpreting it metaphorically comparing first man Adam to last man Adam. The way I read it is in line with him. It really doesn't matter if it literally happened in history that way or not. It reflects ancient Jewish wisdom.
The temple was filled with carvings of all kinds of animals.

Yes, Paul interpreted it allegorically.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:00 AM   #16
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Thanks. Makes a whole lot more sense than saying the tree was hallucinogenic.
When it doesn't make "sense" at all.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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When it doesn't make "sense" at all.
I take this as a question.

I remember when my son was 6 years old. He heard someone say "square root." He was good at math, but the topic was way too premature for him. His brain was exploding trying to understand my explanations. It was a sad sight to see.

Reminds me of some of your posts, bro. You demand understanding and proof, when you should be believing and obeying.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:59 PM   #18
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I take this as a question.

I remember when my son was 6 years old. He heard someone say "square root." He was good at math, but the topic was way too premature for him. His brain was exploding trying to understand my explanations. It was a sad sight to see.

Reminds me of some of your posts, bro. You demand understanding and proof, when you should be believing and obeying.
Thanks for your concern ...
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

Let's summarize:

Often it is better to take a large question that is very difficult to answer and break it down into smaller questions that are easier to answer.

For example -- the problem of evil is a very tough question. But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a smaller and better question that gets us half way there.

1. God created it and planted it in the center of the garden.
2. The tree makes you wise, knowing good and evil.
3. The day you eat it you die.
4. Eating the tree requires you disobey God's direct command.
5. If you eat from this tree you cannot eat from the tree of life.
6. Those that have the power to kill the body do not have power to damage the soul, only God has that power.
7. Everything in this life is vanity.
8. Our life span, compared to eternity, is comparable to about 1/10th of a day, or a little more than 2 hours.

So then, according to the Bible God did allow for man's free will to include disobeying God and sinning. However, the minute that happens we enter this alternate universe where our life span is limited to 120 years or less. There are other conditions as well. So much so that these conditions closely correlate with what we now know as a "simulation".

A flight simulator makes you wise, knowing how to respond to a variety of issues. The flight simulator can "kill" the avatars but cannot otherwise harm you. Everything in a simulator is vanity.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:53 PM   #20
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Are there verses that back up the position that man's eating of the TOTKOGAE caused the fall of creation also?

I was in discussion about the scene in the garden of Eden with an LC person and they kept referring to what got "injected" into us and therefore "injected" into creation. I couldn't recall verses about any such universal "injection", or any that gave a clear link that the fall of creation was a directly caused byproduct of the fall of man. It's not like there was a cable plugged in from man to every animal, and through that, whatever man did thus extended to every animal. Like, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, did the gazelle clear at the other end of the garden and the oak tree providing shade both look at each other the moment the fruit was swallowed and say "uh oh something's happened" because there is some invisible link between Adam/Eve and creation? NT verses talk about sin coming into "the world" but I believe that is still humankind. So how does the disobedience of man affect the entire creation and give us the death, suffering, predator/prey relationship of animals we have today? In other words, how did the fall of man jump to being the fall of animals and plants and all creation too?

For example, the fossil record clearly shows animals had been dying well before man was created, so death was already present in creation by the time the TOTKOGAE came into play. Was creation already affected and animals killing each other happening by then? Unless there are verses that prove otherwise that I just can't think of right now, I'm thinking the effect on creation was probably the result of God cursing creation after man fell (after all, what else is that powerful to affect all of creation?), and we thus have what we have today. But I could be off.

Also, concerning my theory that the TOTKOGAE was named such because eating of it meant by default that you were directly participating in the experiential knowledge of good and evil..... Since God said "now they've become like one of us, knowing good and evil", I thought, "well, God didn't disobey anyone, so where is His knowing good and evil in this same experiential way?" Well, Satan's fall is God's experience of good and evil. So that theory holds up a tiny bit more.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:01 AM   #21
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Are there verses that back up the position that man's eating of the TOTKOGAE caused the fall of creation also?
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 8
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:12 AM   #22
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I was in discussion about the scene in the garden of Eden with an LC person and they kept referring to what got "injected" into us and therefore "injected" into creation. I couldn't recall verses about any such universal "injection", or any that gave a clear link that the fall of creation was a directly caused byproduct of the fall of man. It's not like there was a cable plugged in from man to every animal, and through that, whatever man did thus extended to every animal. Like, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, did the gazelle clear at the other end of the garden and the oak tree providing shade both look at each other the moment the fruit was swallowed and say "uh oh something's happened" because there is some invisible link between Adam/Eve and creation? NT verses talk about sin coming into "the world" but I believe that is still humankind. So how does the disobedience of man affect the entire creation and give us the death, suffering, predator/prey relationship of animals we have today? In other words, how did the fall of man jump to being the fall of animals and plants and all creation too?
that is the downside of a good analogy, people lose track of how it came to be and then begin to teach it as though it were Biblical.

The Fall did not take place by touching the tree, looking at the tree or even liking the tree. It took place once we "ate" the tree. Something got into Adam and Eve. Second, once it got into Adam and Eve it was then passed on to all their descendants. So in that sense it is very similar to a genetic mutation being passed on.

Now if you read the verses in Romans that they are quoting it doesn't say that as one man died all creation dies, it says that death in one man spread to all men. Now as a result of this all creation was "subjected to frustration" (according to the translation I quoted, amplified says "frustration and futility", ASV says "vanity"), all of creation is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God, and all of creation has the hope that when we enter the kingdom they also will be freed from decay and corruption.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:01 AM   #23
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For example, the fossil record clearly shows animals had been dying well before man was created, so death was already present in creation by the time the TOTKOGAE came into play. Was creation already affected and animals killing each other happening by then? Unless there are verses that prove otherwise that I just can't think of right now, I'm thinking the effect on creation was probably the result of God cursing creation after man fell (after all, what else is that powerful to affect all of creation?), and we thus have what we have today. But I could be off.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

It doesn't say "God cursed creation", it says "the ground was cursed for our sake". These may seem like subtle differences, but subtle distinctions are what got us into trouble in the first place.

Historically, I think this cursing of the ground took place when we went from being a hunter gather society to being an agricultural society.

To a hunter gather society there is no such thing as a weed. Every single plant has its value, its purpose, its place. But once you make this switch you have to "weed" out all those plants that you don't want to help that one plant you do want to grow more. The bugs and pests that attack that one plant will now proliferate, so you have to deal with that as well. Hunter gatherers didn't have to do any of that.

Also, these two societies cannot coexist, hunter gatherers must be expelled. Our childhood diseases are a direct result of our raising herds of animals (cows, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens). Those diseases confer immunity to young children, but are deadly to adults (like the native americans) who were never exposed. Second, the lifestyle is completely different. Agricultural societies will fence off their land. Hunter gatherers become thieves, cattle rustlers, criminals. Animals like foxes and lions become pests we have to deal with rather than beautiful creatures we respect and learn from. So just as Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden, so also the agricultural revolution evicted us from the garden.

Also archaeological evidence shows that hunter gatherers were healthier, stronger, and smarter (average human intelligence appears to have been declining for the last six thousand years). Apparently the hunter gatherer lifestyle is more mentally stimulating than being a farm hand. The farmers also worked harder. As best we can tell hunter gatherers worked less than 4 hours a day.

So the land did all the work initially, but once we transitioned to the agricultural revolution we had to do all the work. We were forcing the land to do something contrary to the way in which it had been designed to operate.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:54 AM   #24
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that is the downside of a good analogy, people lose track of how it came to be and then begin to teach it as though it were Biblical.

The Fall did not take place by touching the tree, looking at the tree or even liking the tree. It took place once we "ate" the tree. Something got into Adam and Eve. Second, once it got into Adam and Eve it was then passed on to all their descendants. So in that sense it is very similar to a genetic mutation being passed on.

Now if you read the verses in Romans that they are quoting it doesn't say that as one man died all creation dies, it says that death in one man spread to all men. Now as a result of this all creation was "subjected to frustration" (according to the translation I quoted, amplified says "frustration and futility", ASV says "vanity"), all of creation is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God, and all of creation has the hope that when we enter the kingdom they also will be freed from decay and corruption.
Was then the "fall" of Adam brought about by being poisoned by the TOTKOGAE or by his disobedience (i.e. Transgression) in choosing to eat what God commanded not to?

Lee indicated the former, but Paul the latter. Or perhaps both? What do you think?
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #25
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Hi ZNP,

Thanks for the verses. As far as I can tell, the verses you quoted all keep the effects of the fall to within mankind, with the exception of Romans 8:18-21 which mentions creation. However, some Bible versions translate "creation" there as "the creature", so even then I can't tell if it's talking about all of creation or just created man.

If indeed Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it.... is talking about all of creation, it says it was subjected to frustration "by the will of the one who subjected it"....is it talking about God there? Is it saying that God subjected all of creation to frustration?

If so, that makes more sense to me that there was an external effect applied to creation rather than some "element" being "injected" into one human that somehow jumped species lines and affected all the other animals and plants too.

-----

On the subject of the "injection" or "something got into man", I also can't quite agree that the eating was the taking in of something, in the sense that swallowing the fruit was like swallowing a poison pill. I don't think the fruit was "poisonous" and by eating the fruit some "element" came in with that fruit. God said the TOTKOGAE was good for food too. And by eating it they became like God, so how is there some poison or evil injection going on from the thing that is good and makes you like God? The verse in Romans 5 and 7 talk about "through the offense", not "through the fruit".

Many people ask "where did sin come from, where did evil come from", etc......well, I think it just comes from our choosing. For me personally, I think it's more simply that God gave us free will. He literally gave us the ability to sin if we wanted to. We had two pathways, both clear, both takeable, both in front of us. I don't think a "sin" element had to "come in" or be "injected", we simply were able to freely take one of the paths presented to us that God gave us the ability to do so if we wanted, one of which had devastating consequences. Sin is the action, and God just gave us the ability to make that action, and we did it.

Of course we sinned, so sin was present for the first time.

Anyway, I'm mostly just talking out loud....not trying to agree or disagree with anyone.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #26
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Hi ZNP,

Thanks for the verses. As far as I can tell, the verses you quoted all keep the effects of the fall to within mankind, with the exception of Romans 8:18-21 which mentions creation. However, some Bible versions translate "creation" there as "the creature", so even then I can't tell if it's talking about all of creation or just created man.

If indeed Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it.... is talking about all of creation, it says it was subjected to frustration "by the will of the one who subjected it"....is it talking about God there? Is it saying that God subjected all of creation to frustration?

If so, that makes more sense to me that there was an external effect applied to creation rather than some "element" being "injected" into one human that somehow jumped species lines and affected all the other animals and plants too.

-----

[COLOR=Blue]
There are some very interesting questions, in Genesis it says "the earth became waste and void" prior to the creation of man.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:47 PM   #27
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Was then the "fall" of Adam brought about by being poisoned by the TOTKOGAE or by his disobedience (i.e. Transgression) in choosing to eat what God commanded not to?

Lee indicated the former, but Paul the latter. Or perhaps both? What do you think?
I can't think of a short and sweet way to answer this. In brief I have a very big problem with the word "poisoned". God created the tree, according to witnesses it was a tree good for food. God planted the tree and never once said that they had "been poisoned".

That said it also says "in the day you eat you shall surely die" and we can tie the entrance of sin and all that entails to the eating of this fruit. So allegorically it is certainly fair to say that this "poisoned" man.

I think the act of disobedience is the significant action, but I also think the
"eating the fruit" was a critical component in the equation.

In brief I think the term "poisoned" is misleading. It isn't unreasonable to use the term but I think it is too simplistic, like learning in high school that what they taught you in elementary school was not accurate.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:53 PM   #28
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I can't think of a short and sweet way to answer this. In brief I have a very big problem with the word "poisoned". God created the tree, according to witnesses it was a tree good for food. God planted the tree and never once said that they had "been poisoned".

That said it also says "in the day you eat you shall surely die" and we can tie the entrance of sin and all that entails to the eating of this fruit. So allegorically it is certainly fair to say that this "poisoned" man.

I think the act of disobedience is the significant action, but I also think the
"eating the fruit" was a critical component in the equation.

In brief I think the term "poisoned" is misleading. It isn't unreasonable to use the term but I think it is too simplistic, like learning in high school that what they taught you in elementary school was not accurate.
W. Lee made this one of his foundational teachings, using the example of a child in the medicine cabinet, i.e. God was not nearly as concerned with the "disobedience" of the child, as He was with the "poison" he ingested.

It all made sense, except for the fact that it had little support in scripture. Paul in Romans continually mentioned Adam's transgression, the offense, one offense, the disobedience of one man. (5.12-21) Contrast this with the one righteous act, the obedience of the One, Jesus Christ.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:10 PM   #29
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On the subject of the "injection" or "something got into man", I also can't quite agree that the eating was the taking in of something, in the sense that swallowing the fruit was like swallowing a poison pill. I don't think the fruit was "poisonous" and by eating the fruit some "element" came in with that fruit. God said the TOTKOGAE was good for food too. And by eating it they became like God, so how is there some poison or evil injection going on from the thing that is good and makes you like God? The verse in Romans 5 and 7 talk about "through the offense", not "through the fruit".

Many people ask "where did sin come from, where did evil come from", etc......well, I think it just comes from our choosing. For me personally, I think it's more simply that God gave us free will. He literally gave us the ability to sin if we wanted to. We had two pathways, both clear, both takeable, both in front of us. I don't think a "sin" element had to "come in" or be "injected", we simply were able to freely take one of the paths presented to us that God gave us the ability to do so if we wanted, one of which had devastating consequences. Sin is the action, and God just gave us the ability to make that action, and we did it.
This brings up another point. Are we judged for our sins, or for our inherited sin nature, or both? As a Catholic, I was taught that babies were born under judgment, and thus needed a quick baptism to be saved from original sin. I don't buy that anymore. Thus the question, how can a baby be judged for sin, when the baby is yet unable to decide?

Perhaps others have thoughts here. Yes, as descendants of Adam, we are all doomed to die, yet that does not mean we will be judged for sin. The story of the little boy Todd Burpo, "Heaven is for Real," got me thinking. That little boy died temporarily, visiting heaven, and there he met his sister who was miscarried, yet without him knowing ever about it.

I now believe that human conception is a God-intervening miracle, where the breath of God forms an everlasting soul. The accompanying body has a limited life span, of course, but that soul will not die.

I believe God is fair, and will be proven more than fair in all His judgments. How can one be judged without even the ability to believe?
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #30
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This brings up another point. Are we judged for our sins, or for our inherited sin nature, or both? As a Catholic, I was taught that babies were born under judgment, and thus needed a quick baptism to be saved from original sin. I don't buy that anymore. Thus the question, how can a baby be judged for sin, when the baby is yet unable to decide?

Perhaps others have thoughts here. Yes, as descendants of Adam, we are all doomed to die, yet that does not mean we will be judged for sin. The story of the little boy Todd Burpo, "Heaven is for Real," got me thinking. That little boy died temporarily, visiting heaven, and there he met his sister who was miscarried, yet without him knowing ever about it.

I now believe that human conception is a God-intervening miracle, where the breath of God forms an everlasting soul. The accompanying body has a limited life span, of course, but that soul will not die.

I believe God is fair, and will be proven more than fair in all His judgments. How can one be judged without even the ability to believe?

One Christian apologist makes the statement that Jesus didn't come to make bad people good, He came to make dead people live. So for babies, it's not a matter of being bad or sinning, it's a matter of needing eternal life.

I think on another thread I posted this example: Say there is a man who is a gardener. And the owner of the garden tells the man not to go near a gigantic pit on the property because it is so deep that no one can get him out if he falls in. But the gardener goes and jumps into the pit. That is his fault, and he needs to be saved out of the pit.

Well.....say the gardener is a pregnant lady. And the owner tells her the same thing, but she responds the same way and jumps into the pit. That is her fault and she needs to be saved out of the pit.

But say this pregnant pit lady has her baby while she is in the pit. The baby is not at fault or guilty.....but it still doesn't change the fact that the baby now needs to be saved out of the pit.

So even babies are born "into a pit" and need salvation out of it.....salvation not from sin necessarily but salvation unto eternal life. The baby may go before the judgment seat as a formality but I think it would be a pretty short stand in front of the judge.

For those situations where a child dies before it even has the ability or option, and doesn't technically get saved, I also have to believe God will be fair. He just can't be God otherwise.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:56 PM   #31
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W. Lee made this one of his foundational teachings, using the example of a child in the medicine cabinet, i.e. God was not nearly as concerned with the "disobedience" of the child, as He was with the "poison" he ingested.
I think the POE demonstrates the error in that teaching. If man had ingested poison, that would imply God was complicit in the poisoning.

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It all made sense, except for the fact that it had little support in scripture. Paul in Romans continually mentioned Adam's transgression, the offense, one offense, the disobedience of one man. (5.12-21) Contrast this with the one righteous act, the obedience of the One, Jesus Christ.
The unrighteous act was unbelief. If you truly believe God wants the best for you then you wouldn't take the tree. If you truly believed that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were hidden in God you wouldn't take the tree.

Likewise the one righteous act of the Lord, the one act of obedience, was truly an act of faith.

The cross of Christ is both the wisdom and power of God. A lot of people are similar to AOC, they think they are wise, but are powerless. We all have the power to take up our own cross. AOC wants to crucify others, she is powerless to do that.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:03 PM   #32
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This brings up another point. Are we judged for our sins, or for our inherited sin nature, or both? As a Catholic, I was taught that babies were born under judgment, and thus needed a quick baptism to be saved from original sin. I don't buy that anymore. Thus the question, how can a baby be judged for sin, when the baby is yet unable to decide?

Perhaps others have thoughts here. Yes, as descendants of Adam, we are all doomed to die, yet that does not mean we will be judged for sin. The story of the little boy Todd Burpo, "Heaven is for Real," got me thinking. That little boy died temporarily, visiting heaven, and there he met his sister who was miscarried, yet without him knowing ever about it.

I now believe that human conception is a God-intervening miracle, where the breath of God forms an everlasting soul. The accompanying body has a limited life span, of course, but that soul will not die.

I believe God is fair, and will be proven more than fair in all His judgments. How can one be judged without even the ability to believe?
The way I understand it, the Earth was created for man to inherit. Now you could do something in your lifetime that would disqualify you and send you to the lake of fire, but that was not created for you, it is really a major blunder for a human to end up there. So in the case of these babies there is no basis for a negative judgement. Second, I don't see any discussion in the Bible about what happens with an infant that dies, there is no reference to them in Hades, so I am not aware of any biblical basis to say they can't be born a second time. If you agree that John the Baptist was the second coming of Elijah, then why couldn't that happen with others as well?
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:23 AM   #33
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The more I mull it over, the more the garden of Eden seems to simply be a matter of obedience and consequence. Yes, I can see an argument for "life or death", but the strange thing is God never TOLD Adam and Eve (at least as recorded in the Bible) to eat the tree of life. It wasn't like "make sure to eat the TOL rather than the TOTKOGAE". God never pushed it or encouraged it or talked the TOL up. The only thing He said was that they would die (be cut off from the TOL) if they ate of the TOTKOGAE. This to me is like "eat of Exhibit A, be cut off from Exhibit B". Obedience and consequence.

Also, as an argument against the LC's position that Satan was injected into our flesh, and that we literally have Satan bodily in each of us.......this is based on the premise that we somehow "took in" the sin element or were "poisoned". Again, I don't agree with that (with Satan himself being in us). As I've said in a previous post, I think it's more simply that God gave us free will.....He literally gave us the ability to sin if we wanted to. We simply were able to freely take one of the paths presented to us that God gave us the ability to do so if we wanted, one of which had devastating consequences. Sin is the action, and God just gave us the ability to make that action, and we did it.

Otherwise, we say that Satan injected his element into us. Okay, that makes sense because Satan exists. But for Satan to fall......where did that "injection" come from? Sin there originated in the free will of Lucifer and he CHOSE to rebel against God. Sin "came in" simply because of the free will choice of a path that was provided as an option.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:57 PM   #34
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The more I mull it over, the more the garden of Eden seems to simply be a matter of obedience and consequence. Yes, I can see an argument for "life or death", but the strange thing is God never TOLD Adam and Eve (at least as recorded in the Bible) to eat the tree of life. It wasn't like "make sure to eat the TOL rather than the TOTKOGAE". God never pushed it or encouraged it or talked the TOL up. The only thing He said was that they would die (be cut off from the TOL) if they ate of the TOTKOGAE. This to me is like "eat of Exhibit A, be cut off from Exhibit B". Obedience and consequence.

Also, as an argument against the LC's position that Satan was injected into our flesh, and that we literally have Satan bodily in each of us.......this is based on the premise that we somehow "took in" the sin element or were "poisoned". Again, I don't agree with that (with Satan himself being in us). As I've said in a previous post, I think it's more simply that God gave us free will.....He literally gave us the ability to sin if we wanted to. We simply were able to freely take one of the paths presented to us that God gave us the ability to do so if we wanted, one of which had devastating consequences. Sin is the action, and God just gave us the ability to make that action, and we did it.

Otherwise, we say that Satan injected his element into us. Okay, that makes sense because Satan exists. But for Satan to fall......where did that "injection" come from? Sin there originated in the free will of Lucifer and he CHOSE to rebel against God. Sin "came in" simply because of the free will choice of a path that was provided as an option.
I agree. Nigel Tomes wrote an article here about Lee's false Satanology.

Trapped, I'm not sure if you have read any of Tomes papers, but he was a FullTime worker in the Midwest, (Toronto, Canada) condemned by LSM for his "independent" thinking. His many well-written papers carefully address many of the false teachings which fettered the LC saints.

No where does the Bible indicate that Satan lives in us. Lee invented that. Demons, however, as the Gospels indicate, can possess certain people.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:58 PM   #35
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The way I understand it, the Earth was created for man to inherit. Now you could do something in your lifetime that would disqualify you and send you to the lake of fire, but that was not created for you, it is really a major blunder for a human to end up there. So in the case of these babies there is no basis for a negative judgement. Second, I don't see any discussion in the Bible about what happens with an infant that dies, there is no reference to them in Hades, so I am not aware of any biblical basis to say they can't be born a second time. If you agree that John the Baptist was the second coming of Elijah, then why couldn't that happen with others as well?
Interesting concept, but doesn't that play into the New Age thought of reincarnation?
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:58 PM   #36
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Interesting concept, but doesn't that play into the New Age thought of reincarnation?
I am not familiar with their doctrine. However, the Bible refers to several people (the two witnesses, John the Baptist, and Nero) as being reincarnated. So it seems it is a Biblical possibility. However, for adults it seems this is done for a particular purpose and that most are kept in Hades (Samuel, Abraham, and a few others are referenced as well). In Hebrews we are surrounded with a great cloud of witnesses, so these dead can observe what is going on. Some are resting, some are observing, some are pleading for their family members (the story the Lord told).

According to Peter he refers to one part of Hades as being similar to a dungeon where people are held until the judgement. In the gospels Jesus says that there is a great gulf and the dead on one side are unable to pass the gulf to the other side. So at the time of death it appears that a judgement is made as to where you go.

So then for infants and premature deaths it is not reasonable that this judgement would have been made. Therefore the idea that they could be reincarnated seems consistent with what we do know about death from the Bible.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:08 PM   #37
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I agree. Nigel Tomes wrote an article here about Lee's false Satanology.
The official doctrine of LSM on this is that a "virtual personification of Satan" is within man.

Therefore, they have endorsed my theory that human life can be compared to a computer simulation without even realizing it. However, in my theory our soul is real and the world we live in is a virtual one. In their doctrine the world is real, and within our flesh is a "virtual personification" of Satan. So I do not understand what that could be? Is there a computer simulation that has created a "virtual" Satan and this has been put into every person's flesh?
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:46 PM   #38
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I agree. Nigel Tomes wrote an article here about Lee's false Satanology.

Trapped, I'm not sure if you have read any of Tomes papers, but he was a FullTime worker in the Midwest, (Toronto, Canada) condemned by LSM for his "independent" thinking. His many well-written papers carefully address many of the false teachings which fettered the LC saints.

No where does the Bible indicate that Satan lives in us. Lee invented that. Demons, however, as the Gospels indicate, can possess certain people.

I have read a lot of a lot of papers.....but honestly have trouble remembering who wrote what about what specifically. To me the most damning argument against it is to ask whether Satan is omnipresent. I asked this of an LC member once. They said no he isn't. I said, "so Satan cannot be attacking me here while simultaneously attacking someone in Africa, right?" "Right". I asked, "Okay then, since he can't be in many places at one time, how is he in all of us then?" "Uhhmmmm........"
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:45 AM   #39
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Sin "came in" simply because of the free will choice of a path that was provided as an option.
Which came first, sin or free will?

If we have a demon, we don't have free will.

If we have Satan in us we have no free will.

If we have sin in us we have no free will.

Cuz all of the above will influence our decisions, urges, impulses, instincts, wants, so forth and so on. It may feel like we have free will, but there's animating influences going on within us, so our feeling of free will is just a cover for hidden goings-on, that usurp our free will, and basically make it null and void.

And when did Satan eat from the ToKoGaE before he fell? Did God leave disobedience open from the beginning? Is disobedience built in from the start? If so, it may feel like free will, but without divine intervention, disobedience knocks it out, every time. And divine intervention interferes with free will, so no free will there either. Methinks it may very well be that, free will is a human construct.

Free will must be ZNP's simulation paradigm. Because, free will, turns out, is just an excuse for something God programmed into the system from the start, and a way for Him to blame us for something He started ; something He surely knew would interfere with whatever free will we may have.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:16 PM   #40
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Which came first, sin or free will?

If we have a demon, we don't have free will.

If we have Satan in us we have no free will.

If we have sin in us we have no free will.

Cuz all of the above will influence our decisions, urges, impulses, instincts, wants, so forth and so on. It may feel like we have free will, but there's animating influences going on within us, so our feeling of free will is just a cover for hidden goings-on, that usurp our free will, and basically make it null and void.

And when did Satan eat from the ToKoGaE before he fell? Did God leave disobedience open from the beginning? Is disobedience built in from the start? If so, it may feel like free will, but without divine intervention, disobedience knocks it out, every time. And divine intervention interferes with free will, so no free will there either. Methinks it may very well be that, free will is a human construct.

Free will must be ZNP's simulation paradigm. Because, free will, turns out, is just an excuse for something God programmed into the system from the start, and a way for Him to blame us for something He started ; something He surely knew would interfere with whatever free will we may have.

Free will is just free will. It is literally the freedom and ABILITY to sin or not sin. God gave us the ABILITY to sin, and we chose it. For free will to be free will, we had to have equal propensity to sin or not sin. Otherwise it is influenced will or propensity will.

Another poster here said something like they thought in the NJ we will still have free will and the ability to choose to sin, it's just that none of us will ever want to sin again, having been through what we've been through.

I don't think an "element" had to "come in" for us to sin. God just gave us the ability to do so and we did. But ability doesn't mean pre-programming, ability doesn't mean influenced, ability doesn't mean divine intervention, urge, impulse, instinct. It is just ability.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:31 PM   #41
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

Interesting response bro Trapped. Thanks. Just some comments, thoughts, and responses :

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Free will is just free will. It is literally the freedom and ABILITY to sin or not sin. God gave us the ABILITY to sin, and we chose it.
And if held accountable, we should be accountable for our infractions, and not those of some early ones from some who knows how long ago. I'm not accountable for the actions of others. If so free will is bubkes.

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Originally Posted by Trapped
For free will to be free will, we had to have equal propensity to sin or not sin. Otherwise it is influenced will or propensity will.
Except there are clear cut sins, like lying, stealing, harming others, we can list more. But then there are questionable "sins."

Some examples : Is trying to get ahead of another a sin? is failure to be humble a sin? is caring for our self and not others a sin? Is it a sin to work too much? Is it a sin to not attend church? Is it a sin to go to the movies, watch TV? Are our thoughts a sin? Is appreciating the attractiveness of the opposite sex a sin? So forth and so on? There's many cases where we don't know clearly that it's a sin. What's a sin? Is being a Muslim a sin? a Buddhist, a Hindu?

People are born into it ; so no free will involved. Can they be held accountable if they didn't chose it, when their "free will" was completely absent in the process ; like being born -- no free will there -- to parents that free will had nothing to do with ; as well as the place of birth, and conditions : conditions that offer limited options for our free will to act upon, using conditions effecting our very basis of free will in the first place? There's lots that we can't be held accountable for because free will wasn't free at all ; it being predetermined.

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Originally Posted by Trapped
Another poster here said something like they thought in the NJ we will still have free will and the ability to choose to sin, it's just that none of us will ever want to sin again, having been through what we've been through.
So we've been bad, got spanked, learned our lessons, and so don't want to sin any more? Hey. What do I know. With God anything is possible. So why wasn't it possible from the get-go? Oh! For the sake of free will? That's certainly circular logic. God could have given us free will, and no desire to sin too? Why wait for the NJ to do it? If He could do it there/then He could have done it here, from the start.

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Originally Posted by Trapped
I don't think an "element" had to "come in" for us to sin. God just gave us the ability to do so and we did. But ability doesn't mean pre-programming, ability doesn't mean influenced, ability doesn't mean divine intervention, urge, impulse, instinct. It is just ability.
But all that is existential reality. There's strong stubborn evidence, as well as strong arguments, that, free will is determined by so many factors, that it's questionable if we can be held accountable for wrong free will choices ... and even less for when our free will was/is absent, or predetermined by conditions that left us little choice, and little ability to know factors of free will, that are determinant, where there's limited or no free will at all.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:02 PM   #42
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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Interesting response bro Trapped. Thanks. Just some comments, thoughts, and responses :

And if held accountable, we should be accountable for our infractions, and not those of some early ones from some who knows how long ago. I'm not accountable for the actions of others. If so free will is bubkes.
Are you talking about Adam and Eve here? If so, I wrestled for a long time with that one too. I thought that even our fallen human justice system doesn't judge people for actions other people committed, so how could God's high justice be so crude as to condemn people for actions of others? As a young person, I recall serving ones responding to this question by saying something like, "Oh come on, you surely can't say that if it was us in that garden that we would have done better than Adam and Eve did, right?" And all I could think was, "so instead I'm being condemned because I would have done the same thing if I was there? God's justice system is crap!"

What has helped me a ton is coming across the example that I've posted a couple times on this forum about a pregnant lady who jumped into a deep, deep pit she'd been warned not to jump into. The lady is accountable for her actions and being stuck in that pit. But the baby born in the pit isn't guilty of jumping into the pit, it was just born in the pit (a "pit"iful situation you might say, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). This was a shift to help remove the heavy feeling like I was being "judged" and understand that I was being saved because I was just born into a situation I needed to be saved from, just like the pit baby that didn't do anything except be born.

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Except there are clear cut sins, like lying, stealing, harming others, we can list more. But then there are questionable "sins."

Some examples : Is trying to get ahead of another a sin? is failure to be humble a sin? is caring for our self and not others a sin? Is it a sin to work too much? Is it a sin to not attend church? Is it a sin to go to the movies, watch TV? Are our thoughts a sin? Is appreciating the attractiveness of the opposite sex a sin? So forth and so on? There's many cases where we don't know clearly that it's a sin. What's a sin? Is being a Muslim a sin? a Buddhist, a Hindu?

People are born into it ; so no free will involved. Can they be held accountable if they didn't chose it, when their "free will" was completely absent in the process ; like being born -- no free will there -- to parents that free will had nothing to do with ; as well as the place of birth, and conditions : conditions that offer limited options for our free will to act upon, using conditions effecting our very basis of free will in the first place? There's lots that we can't be held accountable for because free will wasn't free at all ; it being predetermined.
Wish I could help answer what exactly is a sin. I'd like to think about it more but don't have the brain horsepower right now. Do you have any more thoughts on the subject?

Regarding free will, I can only say what comes to mind, but from your description it seems like you are stretching free will to cover more than it is. If you want free will to include determining existence, who your parents are, where you are born, what it's like where you are born, etc, etc, etc......it kind of ends up verging on omnipotence.

Geez, it's actually a great question that I never thought about: "what is free will?" What DOES it mean really? Free will doesn't mean you have every option available to you. Free will doesn't mean you get to choose every single parameter of your life. Free will is ....... well I don't even know what to type now that you've got me going down that road. What is free will anyway? Gahh....now I've got to spend some time looking into it.

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So we've been bad, got spanked, learned our lessons, and so don't want to sin any more? Hey. What do I know. With God anything is possible. So why wasn't it possible from the get-go? Oh! For the sake of free will? That's certainly circular logic. God could have given us free will, and no desire to sin too? Why wait for the NJ to do it? If He could do it there/then He could have done it here, from the start.
I think it's more like that we've experienced how horrible it is and want nothing to do with it anymore. It's not that God would give us free will and also magically give us no desire to sin, it's that God would give us free will and having experienced what we've experienced, we want nothing to do with sin anymore.

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But all that is existential reality. There's strong stubborn evidence, as well as strong arguments, that, free will is determined by so many factors, that it's questionable if we can be held accountable for wrong free will choices ... and even less for when our free will was/is absent, or predetermined by conditions that left us little choice, and little ability to know factors of free will, that are determinant, where there's limited or no free will at all.
Yeah, I asked someone the other day, what choice (as far as choosing Jesus) does a 6 year old muslim kid in the middle east who got struck and killed by a roadside bomb have? His entire existence worked 100% against him and free will doesn't mean anything there. He literally didn't have the chance to choose. I'm shrugging my shoulders behind the keyboard.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:44 AM   #43
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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And if held accountable, we should be accountable for our infractions, and not those of some early ones from some who knows how long ago. I'm not accountable for the actions of others. If so free will is bubkes.
That is an erroneous teaching. You are held accountable for your own sins.

Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:— Rom 5:12

and

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my word, he shall never see death. John 8:51

The reason you see death is because you didn't keep the Lord's word. The reason death has passed unto all men is because all men have sinned.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression Rom 5:14

The context is that all have sinned (v.12) and that is the reason all die (v.12). This verse is a clarification that you may not have sinned "after the likeness of Adam's transgression". Paul, James and others go into greater detail that some sin in one way, others sin in another.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:52 AM   #44
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Wish I could help answer what exactly is a sin. I'd like to think about it more but don't have the brain horsepower right now. Do you have any more thoughts on the subject?
the power of sin is the law:

The law tells us exactly what is sin and what isn't. So no, failure to be humble is not a sin, it is "falling short of the glory of God". Awareness is mixing apples and oranges, trying to confuse you.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:09 PM   #45
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Are you talking about Adam and Eve here?
Me : Yes.
If so, I wrestled for a long time with that one too. I thought that even our fallen human justice system doesn't judge people for actions other people committed, so how could God's high justice be so crude as to condemn people for actions of others?
Me : Yes. How?
As a young person, I recall serving ones responding to this question by saying something like, "Oh come on, you surely can't say that if it was us in that garden that we would have done better than Adam and Eve did, right?" And all I could think was, "so instead I'm being condemned because I would have done the same thing if I was there? God's justice system is crap!"
Me : If that's Gods' judgement system, that is??? I would have run straight to the ToL, and ignored that serpent. But that's just me. Adam and Eve should have been forgiven. They were like innocent ignorant children. They couldn't have known what "you shall surely die" meant ; there's no record of them asking : Die? What's that?
What has helped me a ton is coming across the example that I've posted a couple times on this forum about a pregnant lady who jumped into a deep, deep pit she'd been warned not to jump into. The lady is accountable for her actions and being stuck in that pit. But the baby born in the pit isn't guilty of jumping into the pit, it was just born in the pit (a "pit"iful situation you might say, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk). This was a shift to help remove the heavy feeling like I was being "judged" and understand that I was being saved because I was just born into a situation I needed to be saved from, just like the pit baby that didn't do anything except be born.
Me:
Let's bring this closer to home, so to speak. Are people born gay? According to those that hold the Bible as definitive homosexuality will be judged by God. Yet, if God makes 'em that way He can't judge them for it. Their response is, "It's a choice." Is it now?

This came up with some cousins of mine. They are straight-laced church going staunch Southern Baptists ; he being a deacon of long standing. They raised their children that way.

One of their girls grew up a Tomboy. She tried marriage twice, then eventually introduced her gay lover to her parents. It sent my cousins into a tailspin. They took it to the leaders of their church, and was told to disown her. Yet how could they do that? They loved her.

I loved her too (she has since passed). She couldn't help it. She was made that way, so it appeared to all of us extended family members.

I told my cousins about babies born with ambiguous genitalia. ; those born with both sex organs ; it happens more often than is publicly known. It's clearly not a choice. God, or a fluke of nature, made them that way. The doctors fix it, with parental input. They sometimes get it wrong.

I told them that if God makes hermaphrodites He can make homosexuals too. And that God made their daughter gay so she won't be judged for it.

That brought comfort to them. They decided to love their daughter, and her lover, and the daughter they had together, as a grand daughter. That went against all that they learned in their church, but love won, and love is in the Bible too -- in fact it's the second Great Commandment ; and 1st Corinthians 13 stands out : "the greatest of these is love." They used their free will to love, but antecedents determined their free will to do so.
Wish I could help answer what exactly is a sin. I'd like to think about it more but don't have the brain horsepower right now. Do you have any more thoughts on the subject?
Me : The simple answer is, disobedience of God is sin. But also, no matter what culture we're raised in, or religion, if we do something we know is wrong it's a sin.
Regarding free will, I can only say what comes to mind, but from your description it seems like you are stretching free will to cover more than it is. If you want free will to include determining existence, who your parents are, where you are born, what it's like where you are born, etc, etc, etc......it kind of ends up verging on omnipotence.

Geez, it's actually a great question that I never thought about: "what is free will?" What DOES it mean really? Free will doesn't mean you have every option available to you. Free will doesn't mean you get to choose every single parameter of your life. Free will is ....... well I don't even know what to type now that you've got me going down that road. What is free will anyway? Gahh....now I've got to spend some time looking into it.
Me : Greater minds than yours or mine have tackled it, going back at least to those smarty-pants Greeks.

Here's what Contemporary British philosopher Galen Strawson has to say about it :
  • You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.
  • In order to be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are—at least in certain crucial mental aspects.
  • But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.
  • So you can’t be ultimately responsible for what you do.
I think it's more like that we've experienced how horrible it is and want nothing to do with it anymore. It's not that God would give us free will and also magically give us no desire to sin, it's that God would give us free will and having experienced what we've experienced, we want nothing to do with sin anymore.
Me : And then there's the Biblical matter of Predestination. Wowie Zowie! That does a number on free will.
Yeah, I asked someone the other day, what choice (as far as choosing Jesus) does a 6 year old muslim kid in the middle east who got struck and killed by a roadside bomb have? His entire existence worked 100% against him and free will doesn't mean anything there. He literally didn't have the chance to choose. I'm shrugging my shoulders behind the keyboard.
Me : Subjectively we feel we have free will. But unless we deeply examine ourselves we can't see that antecedents determined our free will ... and even then what about your poor little Muslim boy?

Another factor, as far as the law goes, is what's called the age of accountability. Then human law steps in, and can totally limit our free will options. Slavery can also squelch free will, even the ZNP type.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:32 PM   #46
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This is kind of a throwaway post but I just had to get it off my chest that one of Lee's phrases I can't stand is when he says things like, "God seemed to say", and then he proceeds to read heavily into the text things that aren't there.

For example, from the LS of Genesis:

"Genesis 2:17 tells us that God issued man a warning and gave him a prohibition. God wanted man only to touch Him to receive life, but not to touch the things apart from God to receive death. God seemed to tell Adam and Eve, "Don't touch the tree of knowledge—only touch the tree of life. If you eat the tree of life, you will receive Me and have My life. If you eat the tree of knowledge, you will take in Satan and have his death." This was not merely a commandment; it was a warning. We must realize that in the whole universe there are two sources: one is the source of life, and the other is the source of death. Be careful which source you touch. If you touch God, you have the source of life and receive life. If you touch Satan, you have the source of death and receive death."

"God seemed to tell...." is just a sleight of hand phrase that allows Lee to connect his false conclusion to something that isn't there to begin with.

GOD NEVER SAID "ONLY TOUCH THE TREE OF LIFE". He clearly says "You may eat freely from every tree that is in the garden....". But Lee goes right ahead and lays that erroneous foundation using his "seems to say" phrase.

I liken it to a parent putting a piece of cake on the table and their kids XBOX 360 next to it. "Don't eat this cake, or I will take your XBOX away." God is saying "Don't eat the TOTKOGAE or I will cut you off from the TOL."

=========

Here's another stick in my craw from Lee about the TOL and TOTKOGAE:

"The nature and result of the tree of life are both life because it is a tree of life. But the nature and result of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are both death because knowledge, good, and evil are all of death and bring in death. Anything that is not life is of death and results in death. Actually, the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the tree of death; yet it is not called the tree of death, but the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Death is not only behind evil; it is also behind knowledge and good. The title of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is subtle because Satan always likes to conceal himself. Satan has the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Since the tree of knowledge of good and evil is actually the tree of death, it signifies Satan."

Even though only two trees are named in the Bible, the name appears to indicate what you get when you eat it.

Tree of life = get eternal life.

TOTKOGAE = get the knowledge of good and evil (God said "...they have become like Us, knowing good and evil")

Lee's claim here that the TOTKOGAE is actually the Tree of Death just doesn't hold up for me. If it was the Tree of Death it would have been called the Tree of Death.

Death resulted from being cut off from the tree of life, NOT from ingesting the TOTKOGAE. Eve saw the TOTKOGAE was good for food, so it couldn't have had poison or some evil element.

To say "the title of the TOTKOGAE is subtle because Satan always likes to conceal himself" DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE! God Himself was the one who told Adam that was the name of the tree! Lee thus ends up attributing Satan's nefarious, subtle, and devious intent TO GOD.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:46 AM   #47
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This is kind of a throwaway post but I just had to get it off my chest that one of Lee's phrases I can't stand is when he says things like, "God seemed to say", and then he proceeds to read heavily into the text things that aren't there.

For example, from the LS of Genesis:...

"God seemed to tell...." is just a sleight of hand phrase that allows Lee to connect his false conclusion to something that isn't there to begin with...

Here's another stick in my craw from Lee about the TOL and TOTKOGAE:...

Even though only two trees are named in the Bible, the name appears to indicate what you get when you eat it.

Tree of life = get eternal life.

TOTKOGAE = get the knowledge of good and evil (God said "...they have become like Us, knowing good and evil")

Lee's claim here that the TOTKOGAE is actually the Tree of Death just doesn't hold up for me. If it was the Tree of Death it would have been called the Tree of Death.

Death resulted from being cut off from the tree of life, NOT from ingesting the TOTKOGAE. Eve saw the TOTKOGAE was good for food, so it couldn't have had poison or some evil element.

To say "the title of the TOTKOGAE is subtle because Satan always likes to conceal himself" DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE! God Himself was the one who told Adam that was the name of the tree! Lee thus ends up attributing Satan's nefarious, subtle, and devious intent TO GOD.
I agree that Witness Lee's interpretation adds a lot that is not there, his "reading between the lines" does result in a twist that may be his complete fabrication and it seems any reasonable person under this teaching would conclude that the TOTKOGAE was evil, attributing the creation of evil to God even though the Bible clearly says that is impossible.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:21 PM   #48
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When we consider the matter of free will it includes the obvious possibility of rebellion against God. Therefore, the TOTKOGAE provides for that possibility. At the time the only way to disobey or rebel would be to eat from this one tree, there were no other commands that could be violated.

Why would man choose to disobey God? Because they thought they had a better, smarter, wiser way? Perhaps. Because they thought God might be trying to keep some special secret or power from them? Perhaps. Because they wanted to be God? These are all the kinds of temptations that Satan could throw at us. All of this can be seen in the TOTKOGAE.

So then, how could an omnipotent, omniscient God provide for the possibility of a Hitler or Nero exercising free will to commit all sorts of evil while at the same time making sure no harm is done? The minute you eat of this tree everything changes. You can't eat from the tree of Life, you will now die (just like a timer in a game begins), you are banished from the garden of Eden. It is as though a game of chess begins, or a game of monopoly, or a computer simulation. What do we learn in this game? How all of our ideas of what would be smarter or wiser will turn out. We discover the broad way that leads to destruction and learn that the narrow way that leads to life was God's wisdom and there is no human artifice that can short circuit that path.

So in this way it is a good tree, it does make one wise, like God. It is the story of human history.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:07 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
This is kind of a throwaway post but I just had to get it off my chest that one of Lee's phrases I can't stand is when he says things like, "God seemed to say", and then he proceeds to read heavily into the text things that aren't there.

For example, from the LS of Genesis:

"Genesis 2:17 tells us that God issued man a warning and gave him a prohibition. God wanted man only to touch Him to receive life, but not to touch the things apart from God to receive death. God seemed to tell Adam and Eve, "Don't touch the tree of knowledge—only touch the tree of life. If you eat the tree of life, you will receive Me and have My life. If you eat the tree of knowledge, you will take in Satan and have his death." This was not merely a commandment; it was a warning. We must realize that in the whole universe there are two sources: one is the source of life, and the other is the source of death. Be careful which source you touch. If you touch God, you have the source of life and receive life. If you touch Satan, you have the source of death and receive death."

"God seemed to tell...." is just a sleight of hand phrase that allows Lee to connect his false conclusion to something that isn't there to begin with.

GOD NEVER SAID "ONLY TOUCH THE TREE OF LIFE". He clearly says "You may eat freely from every tree that is in the garden....". But Lee goes right ahead and lays that erroneous foundation using his "seems to say" phrase.

I liken it to a parent putting a piece of cake on the table and their kids XBOX 360 next to it. "Don't eat this cake, or I will take your XBOX away." God is saying "Don't eat the TOTKOGAE or I will cut you off from the TOL."

=========

Here's another stick in my craw from Lee about the TOL and TOTKOGAE:

"The nature and result of the tree of life are both life because it is a tree of life. But the nature and result of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are both death because knowledge, good, and evil are all of death and bring in death. Anything that is not life is of death and results in death. Actually, the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the tree of death; yet it is not called the tree of death, but the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Death is not only behind evil; it is also behind knowledge and good. The title of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is subtle because Satan always likes to conceal himself. Satan has the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Since the tree of knowledge of good and evil is actually the tree of death, it signifies Satan."

Even though only two trees are named in the Bible, the name appears to indicate what you get when you eat it.

Tree of life = get eternal life.

TOTKOGAE = get the knowledge of good and evil (God said "...they have become like Us, knowing good and evil")

Lee's claim here that the TOTKOGAE is actually the Tree of Death just doesn't hold up for me. If it was the Tree of Death it would have been called the Tree of Death.

Death resulted from being cut off from the tree of life, NOT from ingesting the TOTKOGAE. Eve saw the TOTKOGAE was good for food, so it couldn't have had poison or some evil element.

To say "the title of the TOTKOGAE is subtle because Satan always likes to conceal himself" DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE! God Himself was the one who told Adam that was the name of the tree! Lee thus ends up attributing Satan's nefarious, subtle, and devious intent TO GOD.
God should have given Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil from their beginning. Maybe they would have then behaved themselves. It should have been a part of the image, that surely must have made them as "one of us."
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:29 PM   #50
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Default Re: Is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil?

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This is kind of a throwaway post but I just had to get it off my chest that one of Lee's phrases I can't stand is when he says things like, "God seemed to say", and then he proceeds to read heavily into the text things that aren't there.
W. Lee altered the Genesis garden story with the analogy of a child in the medicine chest. "The parents were far more concerned that their child was poisoned by the medicine, than that the child had disobeyed them." And all of us "swallowed" his metaphor. Why did WL diminish the necessity of obedience in our Christian walk?

But the Apostle Paul did not. In his definitive treatise on the Christian faith, Paul never mentioned our forbears, Adam and Eve, being "poisoned." Paul used words like, "transgression, offense, sinned, disobedience." (see Romans chapter 5) Paul contrasted these with "the one righteous act, the obedience of the One," referring to the death of Jesus Christ, the 2nd man, the last Adam, on the cross.

In the mind of Apostle Paul, examining his letters both to the Romans and to the Galatians, the disobedience or obedience of man meant everything to God. Why was Abraham the father of faith? Because he was without sin? Hardly. Rather because he obeyed God and sacrificed his only begotten son Isaac, as God had instructed him.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:35 PM   #51
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I agree that Witness Lee's interpretation adds a lot that is not there, his "reading between the lines" does result in a twist that may be his complete fabrication and it seems any reasonable person under this teaching would conclude that the TOTKOGAE was evil, attributing the creation of evil to God even though the Bible clearly says that is impossible.
It's hard to find the balance between being generous in the "non-essentials" of the faith like this versus taking a stand against an interpretation that actually leads down a dangerous path. On the one hand, I shouldn't make it a point of contention with our fellow bros/sis in the LC's over Lee's interpretation here, but on the other hand I can so painfully acutely see how this knowledge = death teaching gets immediately twisted into discouraging members against the pursuit of higher learning* as not focusing on Christ, against thinking their own things, against using their own minds to see that Lee was wrong in his interpretation. It's ...... dark being passed off as light.

(*Note: I do know in other places Lee encouraged higher education, but there was undeniably the other side of the coin too)
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:13 PM   #52
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God should have given Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil from their beginning. Maybe they would have then behaved themselves. It should have been a part of the image, that surely must have made them as "one of us."
I understand what you are saying but there is a "knowing" that can only come from personal first-hand experience.

Like the theory that the God of the OT was angry at His people because He couldn't understand why they kept disobeying Him. But once Jesus came.....He was kind and merciful and patient and long-suffering because He KNEW (first-hand, through now personal experience) just how difficult it was to be human and the suffering that came with it.

Having the knowledge of good and evil programmed from the start is a totally different thing from participating in disobeying and receiving the punishment, shame, consequences for doing so.

But I get your point....I have a few "God should have's" of my own. Like God should have kicked the serpent out and let man truly choose or not choose in a neutral environment.

I read an article on the garden of Eden recently (that I can't find now of course) but it made a good point that it's not like Adam and Eve fell because God's rules and laws were so impossibly strict. A&E had the ENTIRE GARDEN OF ALL GOOD TREES to eat and only one of them was hands off. Literally only one prohibition, and they could do anything else they wanted to do. But what did they do? The only thing they were told not to do. Kinda hard to fault God there.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:25 PM   #53
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W. Lee altered the Genesis garden story with the analogy of a child in the medicine chest. "The parents were far more concerned that their child was poisoned by the medicine, than that the child had disobeyed them." And all of us "swallowed" his metaphor. Why did WL diminish the necessity of obedience in our Christian walk?

But the Apostle Paul did not. In his definitive treatise on the Christian faith, Paul never mentioned our forbears, Adam and Eve, being "poisoned." Paul used words like, "transgression, offense, sinned, disobedience." (see Romans chapter 5) Paul contrasted these with "the one righteous act, the obedience of the One," referring to the death of Jesus Christ, the 2nd man, the last Adam, on the cross.

In the mind of Apostle Paul, examining his letters both to the Romans and to the Galatians, the disobedience or obedience of man meant everything to God. Why was Abraham the father of faith? Because he was without sin? Hardly. Rather because he obeyed God and sacrificed his only begotten son Isaac, as God had instructed him.
I've had a few conversations with LCers on this and its just a matter of time before the child taking the poison medicine analogy inevitably comes up from them (since all they are allowed to think is what Lee thought...... ). But there is literally not one word in Genesis that indicates the tree itself was poison or that that was the issue.

Even Matthew 5:11 says a man is not defiled by what goes into your mouth but by what comes out of it.

I fully agree on Romans 5 - it's all about the offense, the act, the transgression like you said. It's all about obedience! Obedience and consequence. Don't eat of the TOTKOGAE (obedience) or you will die by being cut off from the TOL (consequence). Laws, rules, obedience is a big theme in the OT....how many were there, like 600? reduced to 10, reduced to 2?

Instead, Lee comes up with some Satanic element injection theory which isn't there and which is probably the foundation for his controversial claim that Satan dwells in us bodily that most other Christians do not agree with.

Again, this is why it is so hard to be "general" with Lee's interpretations on non-essentials, because that interpretation that isn't actually there deviates big time down the road.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:47 AM   #54
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It's hard to find the balance between being generous in the "non-essentials" of the faith like this versus taking a stand against an interpretation that actually leads down a dangerous path. On the one hand, I shouldn't make it a point of contention with our fellow bros/sis in the LC's over Lee's interpretation here, but on the other hand I can so painfully acutely see how this knowledge = death teaching gets immediately twisted into discouraging members against the pursuit of higher learning* as not focusing on Christ, against thinking their own things, against using their own minds to see that Lee was wrong in his interpretation. It's ...... dark being passed off as light.

(*Note: I do know in other places Lee encouraged higher education, but there was undeniably the other side of the coin too)
I have no issue with anyone who makes a mistake, is shown the mistake, checks the Bible and concludes that they did in fact make a mistake.

However, WL was not like that, I was not aware of any testimony of that ever happening in his life.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:52 AM   #55
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I was always confused by the word that "In the day you eat of it you shall certainly die". If you receive WL's teaching that it is poison then it creates several issues.

1. Why did God put a poisonous tree in the center of the garden.

2. Even if you can accept #1 how can you reconcile the verses that say "it was good for food and one to make you wise".

3. Also, why didn't they die that day?

So then, go back to the other option that the tree is all about obedience. In the day that you decide not to obey God (which you are free to do since you have free will) in that day the world changes and "you will certainly die". From that moment on we are mortal and destined to die.

Now the tree is not poisonous, it is simply God making provision for the fact that given free will man might choose to rebel. Likewise the tree is still good for food and one to make you wise, because you learn by trying many other ways other than God's and seeing where they lead. Also, that day the world changed so it is true that "in that day you shall surely die". Ever since that day we have been mortal.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:48 AM   #56
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I was always confused by the word that "In the day you eat of it you shall certainly die". If you receive WL's teaching that it is poison then it creates several issues.

1. Why did God put a poisonous tree in the center of the garden.

2. Even if you can accept #1 how can you reconcile the verses that say "it was good for food and one to make you wise".

3. Also, why didn't they die that day?
I have interpreted that in this way. Since a day to the Lord is a thousand years, no man has lived a full "God-day." Look at those from Adam to Noah: Adam 930, Seth 912, Enosh 905, Kenan 910, Mahalalel 895, Jared 962, Enoch raptured, Methuselah 969, Lamech 777, Noah 950.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:45 PM   #57
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I have interpreted that in this way. Since a day to the Lord is a thousand years, no man has lived a full "God-day." Look at those from Adam to Noah: Adam 930, Seth 912, Enosh 905, Kenan 910, Mahalalel 895, Jared 962, Enoch raptured, Methuselah 969, Lamech 777, Noah 950.
But we have another way to read it. In the day you eat it you will certainly die. Doesn't mean that you will die that day, it means the minute you eat it things change and you will be mortal, you will certainly die.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:48 PM   #58
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I've thought just a little about that and have come up with a few interpretations of "in that day you will surely die", none of which involve "you will die from the poison you ingested":

1. God is the creator and sustainer of life. To be cut off from Him (from fellowship with Him, driven from the garden) surely means you are dead.
2. They were cut off from the tree of life, which would have made them live forever, and thus, they began the dying process.
3. It could be a more classy way of saying "you will be dead meat". "Don't eat this cake or you're dead (meat)." Don't eat this tree or you will surely die that day.

I think there were several facets to what "surely die" meant.

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Old 05-13-2019, 03:37 PM   #59
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I've thought just a little about that and have come up with a few interpretations of "in that day you will surely die", none of which involve "you will die from the poison you ingested":

1. God is the creator and sustainer of life. To be cut off from Him (from fellowship with Him, driven from the garden) surely means you are dead.
2. They were cut off from the tree of life, which would have made them live forever, and thus, they began the dying process.
3. It could be a more classy way of saying "you will be dead meat". "Don't eat this cake or you're dead (meat)." Don't eat this tree or you will surely die that day.

I think there were several facets to what "surely die" meant.

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Problems:

1. We aren't cut off from Him. What about Abraham? What about Moses? Elijah?

3. If God is saying "don't eat this or you'll be dead meat" then why did He create it, why did He put it there? It makes God someone who laid a trap.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:17 PM   #60
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Problems:

1. We aren't cut off from Him. What about Abraham? What about Moses? Elijah?

3. If God is saying "don't eat this or you'll be dead meat" then why did He create it, why did He put it there? It makes God someone who laid a trap.
I'm just talking about Adam and Eve being cut off. We just got the problem passed down to us.


God didn't lay a trap at all. He couldn't have been more clear about what the rules were and what would happen. Where's the trap? He also, as I said in another post on this thread, couldn't have been more UNrestrictive in His prohibition. I don't know how big the garden was but plenty of people seem to infer that it was sizeable and thus there were other options aplenty and it would not have been a difficult task to stay away from the TOTKOGAE. A trap would have been only putting one tree in the entire garden as a food source and then telling them not to eat of it.

He put it there because free will is meaningless unless you have the opportunity to exercise it to make a choice about anything. "Do anything you want wherever you want while eating anything you want to eat" doesn't leave much chance for free will to be exercised.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:33 PM   #61
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I understand what you are saying but there is a "knowing" that can only come from personal first-hand experience.

Like the theory that the God of the OT was angry at His people because He couldn't understand why they kept disobeying Him. But once Jesus came.....He was kind and merciful and patient and long-suffering because He KNEW (first-hand, through now personal experience) just how difficult it was to be human and the suffering that came with it.
That's an interesting perspective. Either that or having a son changed him. You know how that changes a man. I've also heard He became kinder when He became a Christian.

But I do like the idea that God discovered how hard it is to be human. Did it take Jesus to realize it? Jesus had extraordinary divine help. If that's what it took, then kindness toward ordinary humans should be a given.

But if Revelation is inspired and inerrant, it doesn't last. God goes back to his same old evil he displayed in the OT. Moses coming down from the mountain talked God into holding "His evil," toward the golden calf worshipers. Tho some evil was still done.

But according to The Revelator, that's child's play by comparison.

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Having the knowledge of good and evil programmed from the start is a totally different thing from participating in disobeying and receiving the punishment, shame, consequences for doing so.
Then God set innocent Adam and Eve up for failure. For what? To teach unquestionable obedience? Doesn't sound like "God is love."

No wonder the Gnostic's thought that the creator law-giver God was a lesser god.

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But I get your point....I have a few "God should have's" of my own. Like God should have kicked the serpent out and let man truly choose or not choose in a neutral environment.
God warned them about the forbidden tree, but not about the serpent. Nor did he warn Adam that his wife was a help-meet, but had a batty streak, and not to listen to her.

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I read an article on the garden of Eden recently (that I can't find now of course) but it made a good point that it's not like Adam and Eve fell because God's rules and laws were so impossibly strict. A&E had the ENTIRE GARDEN OF ALL GOOD TREES to eat and only one of them was hands off. Literally only one prohibition, and they could do anything else they wanted to do. But what did they do? The only thing they were told not to do. Kinda hard to fault God there.
Nope. I've raised kids. Tell them no and turn your back, and they go straight to it. Adam and Eve were like children. If God is God He surely knew that. Or maybe, as depicted by, "Adam and Eve where are you," He's not completely omniscient concerning all matters.

Either way, something ain't right about the garden story. Maybe it's just mythology..
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:11 AM   #62
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I'm just talking about Adam and Eve being cut off. We just got the problem passed down to us.
What? You don't think that the TOTKOGAE could be something that we all experience? You don't think this temptation is common to all?
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #63
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What? You don't think that the TOTKOGAE could be something that we all experience? You don't think this temptation is common to all?
Knowledge of good and evil? Sure we know both subjectively and objectively when good and evil happen to us.

But that's the extent of our knowledge. Cuz we can't know them. We think we're doing good and it turns out to be evil. Vice versa.

If God didn't want us to know the knowledge of good and evil, when it happens to us, then His commandment to be fruitful and multiply was folly. Natural selection would have weeded us out long ago.

Is it any wonder that Lee taught that, God is a sneaky God.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:25 AM   #64
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What? You don't think that the TOTKOGAE could be something that we all experience? You don't think this temptation is common to all?

ZNP, I have to admit I'm a little lost in your questions/issue on this particular point. Can you explain a bit further?

All I mean to say is one way to read "surely die" is that when A&E ate the tree and were cut off from God, they "died" (no more eternal life) since they were cut off from the Source of life. The rest of us were born already "dead" but are now alive in Christ through being saved.

Symbolically we all have the TOTKOGAE in our life as far as choosing to obey or disobey God, sure, but A&E were the only ones born without an innate propensity to sin. Due to their fall the rest of us now have the inborn tendency to sin. Inability not to sin, really.

Does any of this answer what you are asking about? Please clarify if not.

Thanks,

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Old 05-14-2019, 10:22 AM   #65
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ZNP, I have to admit I'm a little lost in your questions/issue on this particular point. Can you explain a bit further?

All I mean to say is one way to read "surely die" is that when A&E ate the tree and were cut off from God, they "died" (no more eternal life) since they were cut off from the Source of life. The rest of us were born already "dead" but are now alive in Christ through being saved.

Symbolically we all have the TOTKOGAE in our life as far as choosing to obey or disobey God, sure, but A&E were the only ones born without an innate propensity to sin. Due to their fall the rest of us now have the inborn tendency to sin. Inability not to sin, really.

Does any of this answer what you are asking about? Please clarify if not.

Thanks,

Trapped
I think there are two sides to this. On the one hand Adam and Eve choosing this tree was a decision that impacted all of their descendants. It was a fork in the road and they chose the fork that ignored God for their own wisdom. That path leads to destruction. The minute you choose to disobey God and listen to what is right in your own eyes you step onto that path, things change, and you are headed towards destruction. Got warned us, we ignored that warning.

On this aspect I think we are both in perfect agreement.

However, the other aspect is that this exemplifies every temptation and every act of disobedience to God by every one of us. I don't think we should overemphasize one for the other. The further we are removed from Adam and Eve the less and less benefit I see in putting the responsibility of sin on them. Paul's use of them was simply pointing out that if one man could make a choice that would impact all of humanity, then the same is true of Jesus choosing to obey, even if it meant going to the cross.

Adam and Eve demonstrate the power of disobedience, Jesus demonstrates the power of obedience. If I choose to disobey God I don't see that as something passed down to me from Adam, rather I see this as exonerating Adam from my judgement. Who am I to judge him when I have done the same.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:05 PM   #66
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I think there are two sides to this. On the one hand Adam and Eve choosing this tree was a decision that impacted all of their descendants. It was a fork in the road and they chose the fork that ignored God for their own wisdom. That path leads to destruction. The minute you choose to disobey God and listen to what is right in your own eyes you step onto that path, things change, and you are headed towards destruction. Got warned us, we ignored that warning.
But in essence they were just children. And the way they ran straight to that tree, and not the others -- including that wonderful tree of life (that they didn't need) -- seems they were just being naughty kids.

And tradition has it that God's penalty for it was to curse everything, and everyone, from that point up to today.

Fallen humans wouldn't penalize that much for such a stupid infraction. The punishment isn't just, doesn't fit the crime -- especially when our free will is overridden by being forced to being fallen, and in sin, for something we didn't do.

Teaching young children this story can't be good toward developing a healthy self image. In fact, it would likely do permanent long lasting damage to them later in life.

I hope the home schooler's aren't teaching it. But then it's prolly worse for children growing up in the LC, even if they don't teach the A&E story. So home schooler's might be bad. But better.

But maybe that's off topic. Maybe not.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:46 AM   #67
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But in essence they were just children. And the way they ran straight to that tree, and not the others -- including that wonderful tree of life (that they didn't need) -- seems they were just being naughty kids.

And tradition has it that God's penalty for it was to curse everything, and everyone, from that point up to today.
Then you contend the TOTKOGAE was evil. I disagree. I contend it was a tree good for food that makes us wise, like God.

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Fallen humans wouldn't penalize that much for such a stupid infraction. The punishment isn't just, doesn't fit the crime -- especially when our free will is overridden by being forced to being fallen, and in sin, for something we didn't do.
Again, that is following the contention that all of this happened at the time of Adam. I disagree, I think the real force of this tree is that it happens every time everyone of us decides that we know better than God and rebel.

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Teaching young children this story can't be good toward developing a healthy self image. In fact, it would likely do permanent long lasting damage to them later in life.
I find this story extremely comforting. We get to learn wisdom similar to God in a simulated universe with a timer. We can't actually do any harm and those who have died are simply spectators, sitting on the sidelines watching us continue in this process of learning wisdom.

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I hope the home schooler's aren't teaching it. But then it's prolly worse for children growing up in the LC, even if they don't teach the A&E story. So home schooler's might be bad. But better.

But maybe that's off topic. Maybe not.
Not at all. My hope is that you are not teaching the homeschoolers. You seem to have a root of bitterness that you water and nourish every day.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:26 PM   #68
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Thanks for responding bro ZNP.

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Then you contend the TOTKOGAE was evil. I disagree. I contend it was a tree good for food that makes us wise, like God.
I don't know if I'm contending that. I don't mean to.

Personally I wonder if the tree of knowledge is just a symbolic way of saying Adam and Eve grew up into adults. They were naked like kids. As adults we know what's good and evil for our offspring. And we're like gods to them.

Going by the text it doesn't say the tree was evil or good. Doesn't it say it was a tree of the "knowledge" of good and evil? In others words, they became adults with critical abstract thinking.

In the text, we don't hear much about the tree of life. Not that Adam and Eve needed it. Before the forbidden tree debacle, supposedly, they already had eternal life ; dying hadn't happened to them. So the tree of life wasn't mentioned much because it wasn't necessary to do so.

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Again, that is following the contention that all of this happened at the time of Adam. I disagree, I think the real force of this tree is that it happens every time everyone of us decides that we know better than God and rebel.
Well maybe. That's one way to look at it.

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I find this story extremely comforting. We get to learn wisdom similar to God in a simulated universe with a timer. We can't actually do any harm and those who have died are simply spectators, sitting on the sidelines watching us continue in this process of learning wisdom.
And that's another way to look at it. Maybe failing to align with reality, but okay.

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Not at all. My hope is that you are not teaching the homeschoolers. You seem to have a root of bitterness that you water and nourish every day.
There's no teaching homeschoolers. I find they're dug into their dogma.

And I'm not bitter. Just aggravated that ancient mythology anthropomorphizes God, and indiscriminate believers take it literal.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:46 AM   #69
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And I'm not bitter. Just aggravated that ancient mythology anthropomorphizes God, and indiscriminate believers take it literal.
"Anthropomorphizing God" is just another way of saying that Jesus has come in the flesh. If that is your issue it is a major one.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:41 PM   #70
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"Anthropomorphizing God" is just another way of saying that Jesus has come in the flesh. If that is your issue it is a major one.
Your definition certainly fits a docetist view ; that Jesus wasn't a physical body. That's right up your alley bro ZNP, with your all is a computer simulation. To docetists the human form of Jesus was mere semblance without any true reality.

That would closer fit the definition of anthropomorphism : "to attribute human form or personality to things not human."
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:50 PM   #71
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Your definition certainly fits a docetist view ; that Jesus wasn't a physical body. That's right up your alley bro ZNP, with your all is a computer simulation. To docetists the human form of Jesus was mere semblance without any true reality.

That would closer fit the definition of anthropomorphism : "to attribute human form or personality to things not human."
Why is a computer simulation any less real? Again, I refer to the movie about Sully, the simulation is not of any use if it is not real. The difference is that they can crash the plane into the city without any harm actually being done.

Jesus was every bit as real as you or I am. We began this simulation because of the disobedience of one man, that is what started this "game". Likewise, it is the obedience of one man, Jesus, that has transcended the game and brought us into eternal life.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #72
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Why is a computer simulation any less real? Again, I refer to the movie about Sully, the simulation is not of any use if it is not real. The difference is that they can crash the plane into the city without any harm actually being done.

Jesus was every bit as real as you or I am. We began this simulation because of the disobedience of one man, that is what started this "game". Likewise, it is the obedience of one man, Jesus, that has transcended the game and brought us into eternal life.
Oh! Oh! I get it now. This is a game! And the Bible is the rule book.

But the Bible is complex, to say the least, so we simplify it : Adam and Eve made us sinners. Jesus came and died for those sins ... and now, if we believe it, in him, we go to heaven ... according to you there's a simulation in there somewhere ... maybe a simulation . . .

. . . coming down from heaven.

But isn't it interesting that the New Jerusalem is just a little larger than India, but a cube ... like the Borg ...

. . . and now we're back to your 'we're living in Star Trek' theory ... where the New Jerusalem must be the Holodeck.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:41 AM   #73
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Oh! Oh! I get it now. This is a game! And the Bible is the rule book.

But the Bible is complex, to say the least, so we simplify it : Adam and Eve made us sinners. Jesus came and died for those sins ... and now, if we believe it, in him, we go to heaven ... according to you there's a simulation in there somewhere ... maybe a simulation . . .

. . . coming down from heaven.

But isn't it interesting that the New Jerusalem is just a little larger than India, but a cube ... like the Borg ...

. . . and now we're back to your 'we're living in Star Trek' theory ... where the New Jerusalem must be the Holodeck.
If you got it you'd realize that what I am saying is the same thing that all fundamental Christians have been teaching.

1. The soul is eternal.

2. The body is mortal.

The only reason someone would take issue with the analogy to a computer simulation is that either they don't understand the analogy, or else they don't believe the soul is eternal.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:17 AM   #74
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If you got it you'd realize that what I am saying is the same thing that all fundamental Christians have been teaching.

1. The soul is eternal.

2. The body is mortal.
Both notions came along long, long, before fundamental Christianity, and in fact, long, long, before Christianity.

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The only reason someone would take issue with the analogy to a computer simulation is that either they don't understand the analogy, or else they don't believe the soul is eternal.
The notion of computer simulations has nothing to do with Christianity, nor the Bible.

Well, I suppose, unless we count Jesus' disappearing body as a computer simulation.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:11 PM   #75
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Both notions came along long, long, before fundamental Christianity, and in fact, long, long, before Christianity.


The notion of computer simulations has nothing to do with Christianity, nor the Bible.

Well, I suppose, unless we count Jesus' disappearing body as a computer simulation.
The notion of a computer simulation is simply an example that we can all understand, all experience, to help explain how we could have an eternal soul inside of a mortal body, how once this body dies the immortal soul does not and now these dead are referred to as "a great cloud of witnesses". The exact same experience takes place in many modern day tournaments. For example debating tournaments can have a thousand competitors, after a day or two this is reduced to the finalists which debate in a great hall with all the other competitors watching. The same is true of chess tournaments, and dare I say it, video game tournaments.

It can also explain how God can "wipe away every tear", how God could create the TOTKOGAE without actually creating evil. Everyone on this forum has agreed that killing a person on a video game is not evil.

It doesn't matter if life is exactly like a video game or not, this analogy simply proves it is possible to have a world, created by God, with evil people like Hitler, yet without any real harm taking place and without God actually creating evil.

It also explains how this tree can be "good for food, a tree to make one wise". This is how we use simulations today, like the one we saw in the movie about Sully.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:50 PM   #76
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The notion of a computer simulation is simply an example that we can all understand, all experience, to help explain how we could have an eternal soul inside of a mortal body, how once this body dies the immortal soul does not and now these dead are referred to as "a great cloud of witnesses". The exact same experience takes place in many modern day tournaments. For example debating tournaments can have a thousand competitors, after a day or two this is reduced to the finalists which debate in a great hall with all the other competitors watching. The same is true of chess tournaments, and dare I say it, video game tournaments.

It can also explain how God can "wipe away every tear", how God could create the TOTKOGAE without actually creating evil. Everyone on this forum has agreed that killing a person on a video game is not evil.

It doesn't matter if life is exactly like a video game or not, this analogy simply proves it is possible to have a world, created by God, with evil people like Hitler, yet without any real harm taking place and without God actually creating evil.

It also explains how this tree can be "good for food, a tree to make one wise". This is how we use simulations today, like the one we saw in the movie about Sully.
That's some contrivance ... 6 million Jews is "no harm." It's just a simulation.

But I think I get it : This is a simulation so we can get obedience right to enter the real world.

You started this thread wondering if the Tree is evil. I suppose you're just reacting to Lee teaching that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they took in Satan. Wouldn't it be easier just to say that Lee was full of it? and had zero scriptural support for his outlandish proposition?

I think I remember you saying the the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is what we experience in our life today, as to if we obey God or not.

But I think it may very well be that, today the TToKoG&E is the Bible. Is that fruit evil?

It's been used for evil ... and not simulations ... harm has been done.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:45 AM   #77
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That's some contrivance ... 6 million Jews is "no harm." It's just a simulation.
I have played Risk, a board game. In that game your armies battle each other for supremacy. No one thinks that moving a wooden block off the board is "evil". Now if you are immortal but your body is simply flesh that will decay, how is your body any different from that wooden block?

If you get wiped out you are then out of the game though you can continue to watch it conclude. How is that any different from being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who went before us?

Although the game doesn't actually kill the armies it does reveal the character of the players. Are they devious? Trustworthy? So although there may not be any real harm done those who have played can easily be judged. Especially games of skill like chess and bridge.

There is no contrivance, the Bible has taught this in black and white and it is part of fundamental theology. 1. Your soul is eternal, 2. Your body is mortal 3. there is no evil or darkness in God 4. It is impossible for God to lie 5. You will be judged for every word and action.

It may seem incredible to some that we would be judged for every word and action in our life, yet we see exactly that in these Black boxes that are used to evaluate airplane crashes. We see it in chess tournaments where they will evaluate each and every move.

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But I think I get it : This is a simulation so we can get obedience right to enter the real world.

You started this thread wondering if the Tree is evil. I suppose you're just reacting to Lee teaching that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they took in Satan. Wouldn't it be easier just to say that Lee was full of it? and had zero scriptural support for his outlandish proposition?

I think I remember you saying the the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is what we experience in our life today, as to if we obey God or not.

But I think it may very well be that, today the TToKoG&E is the Bible. Is that fruit evil?

It's been used for evil ... and not simulations ... harm has been done.
I think the TOTK is an elegant description of the agricultural revolution. Prior to that we were hunter gatherers, but once that revolution began we decided "this is a good plant" and "this is an evil weed". This is a "good animal" and this is "a pest". As a result we had to work by the sweat of our brow and were exiled from the garden (just as we saw with the American Indians, the two societies are not symbiotic and cannot coexist). By contrast hunter gatherers see every tree as good and every animal as good. Because of this we have had to learn many, many things about biology, ecology, chemistry, etc. We have had to learn how each creature fits in the ecosystem and how the loss of an animal that we previously didn't value has very big impacts. This tree can easily be called "the tree of death". That was our original solution -- poison the ground, poison the pests, shoot the pests, week killer, pesticide. etc. But science has taught us that the tree of life is the solution, not death.

I think we do this all the time decide "this is good" and that "is evil". It has many repercussions, for example this recent college entrance exam scandal. Why did these parents pay all this money? They desired to "be like God". They wanted to say how smart and successful their kids are. They thought going to one school is much better than a state school. They had bought into the idea that this school is good and that one is evil.

As for the Bible that is the cheat sheet for the game. Many of these computer games have them. It is an extremely difficult path to find without the Bible, the narrow way, like threading a needle. Taking the way of the cross is absolutely contrary to our natural inclination.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #78
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I think the TOTK is an elegant description of the agricultural revolution. Prior to that we were hunter gatherers, but once that revolution began we decided "this is a good plant" and "this is an evil weed". This is a "good animal" and this is "a pest". As a result we had to work by the sweat of our brow and were exiled from the garden (just as we saw with the American Indians, the two societies are not symbiotic and cannot coexist)
Modern farmers work harder than cavemen did: study

https://nypost.com/2019/05/20/modern...men-did-study/

Maybe getting kicked out of the garden is symbolic.

The hunter-gathers were "leavers." They left their daily bread up to God. They were living in God's garden.

The so called agriculture revolution were those of the "Takers." The Takers took that from God, basically saying, "We don't need you God. We can provide without you. They left God's garden.

And then started the system we still live in today. That of, more food more population ; way worse than the tower of Babel ; bridging all the languages. And now we can't go back to God's garden.

God will punish us for that, and is, for rejecting His providing ; rejecting His garden.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:10 PM   #79
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Modern farmers work harder than cavemen did: study

https://nypost.com/2019/05/20/modern...men-did-study/

Maybe getting kicked out of the garden is symbolic.

The hunter-gathers were "leavers." They left their daily bread up to God. They were living in God's garden.

The so called agriculture revolution were those of the "Takers." The Takers took that from God, basically saying, "We don't need you God. We can provide without you. They left God's garden.

And then started the system we still live in today. That of, more food more population ; way worse than the tower of Babel ; bridging all the languages. And now we can't go back to God's garden.

God will punish us for that, and is, for rejecting His providing ; rejecting His garden.
I guess I'll talk to myself. I am quite independent minded. And have been known to talk to myself.

Let's continue with a symbolic explanation of the Adam and Eve story, and add the Cain and Abel story to the "Leavers" and "Takers."

It's not an exact fit, but God accepts Abel's livestock offering and rejects Cain's agricultural offering. So the story does reject the Taker's -- those that rejected God's providing -- replacing Him by taking control of food production, controlling by and with food, the ever increasing of human population, and the unbalancing of natures way with all the other species.

The hunting and gathering peoples -- the Leavers -- were living in "the garden." The Takers left the garden, and the Cherubim represent that we can't go back.

And surprise and surprise, we can't.
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