by Jeff Pohlman
A careful review of the beginning of Genesis reveals our origin as being from The One Who breathes life, The Creator of the whole universe, and how the human race entered into sin. Most people have heard a recounting of this, and are usually at least vaguely familiar with it. Some people misquote scripture and say that Adam and Eve ate a particular apple which they had been instructed not to eat. In actuality, scripture in any early version does not say "apple," but it does say "fruit." Likewise, modern debaters of religion and philosophy say that there is neither sin nor hell - which comes straight from the basic tenets of wiccan (satanic) beliefs and dogma (that shouldn't surprise you). Sin is clearly spelled out to be - when one voluntarily disobeys God.
God is looking for voluntary obedience - that simple. He is looking for those, who of their own choosing, will-and-choose to do His will, and it is those He desires the closest of relationships with.
He does not coerce. He simply puts in order whatever He wills, and then tells us what is needed for obedience. He is also perfectly willing to risk our being disobedient, because He wants us to do the choosing apart from being bullied or coerced. He is a gentleman. Some people have called this "open-handed relationship," as opposed to a "closed fisted" or "gripping and controlling" relationship.
In this manner, He knows that we are freely and truly choosing Him, that makes the relationship most delightful. It appears to be a sifting process, to weed out those who would begrudgingly obey Him, grumble about being forced to obey, and mess up delightful relationship, or those who would ultimately betray while appearing obedient for a short term.
Sin is clearly pointed out in Isaiah 14: 12 - 15, where the former Angel of Light, Lucifer, is described as wanting to be equal or above God. As a spirit-only being, Lucifer became satan (Hebrew meaning: opponent, adversary, accuser, attacker). This should clearly spell out sin for someone pondering whether he or she is in the activity or not.
Returning to the opening account of creation, in the book of Genesis, God clearly defined obedience, or what the first humans, Adam and Eve, should and shouldn't do. They could eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. That's straightforward. There was another tree which spelled disobedience, and if they ate of it, that meant sin, no different than satan's previous actions, satan the opponent, the adversary, yes, the first and worst sinner. This was known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We could speak of the family of Smith, of John and Sally, but generally choose to simply speak of the family of Smith. Likewise, we speak of the Tree of Knowledge, knowing that it includes the tag of "good and evil."
EACH TREE HOLDS A DIFFERENT PROVISION
There is a subtlety here, where it appears that Father God wanted us to be thoroughly pleased and satisfied in our obedience, eating of the Tree of Life, which apparently gave us all nourishment, antitoxins, remedial medicines, cures, antidotes, and homeopathic nutritional sustainers necessary to experience a healthy and uninhibited eternally-sustained life. More simply put, our obedience to God kept us free from disease and decay which leads to death (the Hebrew word for death means separation - as in being separated from God - forever). When one would cross over into disobedience, by eating of The Tree of Knowledge, along would come the death process.
Something that is hidden from us now, seems to be the fact that eating from the Tree of Life also meant we had a certain oblivious innocence was about us, where any potential problems were taken care of by the One Who supplied The Life in the first place. Whereas eating of the Tree of Knowledge exposed us to all of the vicissitudes of, yes, knowing the delineation between good and evil, but also knowing other things like whether we were naked or not. This "knowing" apparently is an acceptance of a lesser standard of intake of what is needed to sustain us, a compromise, a settling for second or third best. While knowledge by itself, and of good and evil in particular, appears at first blush to be a valuable thing, it actually turns out to be a second rate sustainer as compared to ingesting LIFE straight from The Creator of the Universe. One says we will voluntarily depend on Him for all of our sustenance, the other says we'll do it our way because we think we might be able to do it better (sounds like what Lucifer tried first?).
The Hebrew word for "know" has diverse implications, which truly play out in this sin problem. It is of no surprise to most people that the early Biblical accounts that spoke of sexual relationships were couched in the word "know." He knew her, she knew him - whatever. This is further sustained by deep spiritual relationships between people and God (without weird sexual connotations), especially seen in written chronicles about people like Abraham as a friend of God, many of his notorious descendants, prophets, high priests, kings, and so on. So, in this discussion about sin, it appears that the deepest sense of interactional relationship between mankind and God (before sin happened) could be expressed as an entire spirit-soul-body experience of "knowing" within partaking of the Tree of Life, and to step over the line of disobedience, brought you into a realm of one-dimensional-only (flesh/ body) partaking of the Tree of "Know"ledge. You found yourself partaking of a secondary substitute, settling for second best, thinking you were doing it better than God but truly making yourself much worse off, and forever losing eternal relationship with The Best Life. Head-knowledge versus Spirit-Life.
THE BIG QUESTION
So what have we been cut off from? If you understand this, you understand the need for salvation (you must be saved from something [eternal death - being cut off from relationship with Him] and saved toward something [eternal relationship with Him - starting right now if you'd like]).
A careful scrutiny of an otherwise inconspicuous verse, Genesis 3:8, gives us the clue that should set your spirit-heart on fire with drive and desire.
8- And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)
Do you know how testy some people can get, like they are wonderful thinkers of this age, and there never was a thinker like them in all of history? Well this is one of those issue-points where our resident brilliant thinkers come to think they really shine. The question eventually arises, "If God really is omnipresent, then why couldn't He see Adam and Eve here?" God's eyes weren't blinded, He saw them. The sad truth is, the man and woman had their spirit-eyes blinded, for all eternity.
A subtlety does need to be considered though. The Creator of the universe, God, is expressed as three separate individuals with functions, yet one. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Of those three, Jesus the Son is the one vested with the ability to express a special manifestation of The Almighty Three-In-One in human bodily form to those of us who are sinners. Many Biblical accounts tell us that we cannot see the face of Father, as sinners, or we will be immediately smitten. Conjecture is that before sin, it may have been that there were other special manifestations of God that Adam and Eve saw, and it may have been that they were seeing Jesus Himself. Our finite brains cannot always fathom this, and we don't have complete data on the account, but the issue is that it was the humans that had limited ability to see God, and not the other way around.
The real excitement here is that He somehow has the ability to be everywhere, but He also exhibits the trait of being able to live in us and through us as us. He doesn't choose to live through animals, rocks, buildings, plants, what have you. He does choose to inhabit and live through humans. To borrow a phrase from language that has become of age in the twenty-first century - - - I am Jeff, but because I am redeemed by the blood of Christ, I am a little bit of Jesus with my Jeff-suit on. Likewise, if you are redeemed by Jesus' blood, you are a little bit of Jesus with your human suit on. One of these days, we will all exchange our sinful flesh suits for eternal bodies, and we don't know how that will look or work quite yet, but it promises to be wonderful.
So the question at the beginning of this section was, what have we been cut off from? The answer in a resounding fashion is that we lost the ability to walk with Him in the cool of the day. This should absolutely distress you to the point of sincere desire of eternal salvation.
Up until sin, this was THE wonderful experience of eternal life. Walking with Him in the cool of the day. To be allowed to have anything to do with your Creator is marvelous. To walk in the greatest intimate relationship with Him in and through you as you is dynamic ecstatic.
So what's this word "cool"??? It is the Hebrew word for spirit, or ruwak. There are quite a few ways the word ruwak could be translated, but the fact is, they walked with Him in His Spirit, with Him in and through their spirits. Ponder that phrase for a while. Let it sink in to your most inner being. Complete spirit-to-spirit / spirit-through-spirit interchange. Some people refer to this as exchanged life.
That WAS lost. Can it be regained? Now? To exist constantly in the here-and-now :: and :: to go on for all eternity? Do you think there may be some Good News awaiting you?
© 2005 Permission to copy or reprint granted only if full version is quoted and proper notation of authorship recognition is given.
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