The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil put by God in the midst of the garden of Eden, together with the Tree of Life…but

Gen. 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

This certainly gave Adam/Eve a choice: to have eternal life by eating the fruit of the “tree of life” or die by eating the fruit of “tree of knowledge of good and evil. And, they acted on their personal choice having “free will” to do so. 

Notice that Adam & Eve chose and preferred to “be like him”, the Creator, with knowledge of “good and evil”, instead of “immortality” like the angels by eating the fruit of the “tree of life”. They chose and preferred wisdom over immortality. But, while their choice of “being like him” and risking eternal “second death” was correct, their method of achieving that goal by disobeying God was wrong and sinful. What was wrong with what they did was not so much as their choice of having wisdom over immortality since God wanted us to know “good and evil” by the Ten Commandments through the aegis of the Holy Spirit. Their mistake was their method to achieve that goal to “be like him” on their “own works”, i.e. by themselves “eating the fruit”. But, let us backtrack so that we can fully understand what happened in the “garden of Eden”. 

Jesus “was slain from the foundation” (Rev. 13:8), even way before the garden of Eden and certainly before the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God is omniscient and knew that, when given a choice to “die or be like him”(the Creator YHVH ELOHIM), Adam/Eve would choose the latter, even at the risk of “eternal death”. This was not a test on Adam, as God also knew that, while man was made “perfect and good”, he was “flesh”, “weak”.(Matt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38) and would choose the wrong path. This was well-planned from the beginning and executed perfectly.

But, God wanted to be on record, through the narrative in Genesis, that to “be like him” would not be through the “works of Adam”. It would not be through man “reaching out and eating the fruit of the forbidden tree”. Adam/Eve did not know the way to be “like him”, and subsequently sinned against God. God was giving an indication that the way was not through “man-Adam” but through “another man”, man-Jesus . This is the essence of the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

To be like YHVH ELOHIM, would be by “grace through faith” of this specific Creator in Genesis, the Logos in John 1, the same one that incarnated into man-Jesus. The “faith of Jesus” in whom? In the Father, that what He promised, He would fulfill. What was this covenantal promise of the Father to the Son? 

It is a continuum of these promises:

That if this YHVH ELOHIM CREATOR, the LOGOS would “strip himself of or give up his divine privileges”(Phil. 2:5-11), thus incarnate and die, then his death would be reckoned as payment in full for the sins of mankind to be reconciled to the Father. Having thus reconciled by Jesus’ death, the Father would then resurrect him, “in a twinkling of an eye” as an immortal body, “firstborn from the dead” (Col.1:18) as “Son of God”, the first of “firstfruits”, the “wavesheaf offering. We will then be saved by his life (Rom. 5:10) and the Holy Spirit would be sent (Jn 16:7). This HS would then “in-dwell” in us, the temple not made by hands (Acts 7:48; 17:24), so God the Potter can re-do what is best for us, the “marred clay” (Jer. 18:4). This promise of the Holy Spirit in us will seal, guide, teach, help us overcome temptation and direct us to develop the “wisdom” of God, the “mind of Christ” 

Therefore, let us not “grieve” but instead follow willingly this Holy Spirit in us, as man-Jesus did (Lu.22:42) to express the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). While our faith in God and our good works are important, what matters most and ultimately the only ones that God recognized by grace were the “faith of Jesus and the works of the Holy Spirit”.

With the Spirit in us, this promise will be fulfilled: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, (immortal bodies) which is in the midst of the paradise of God”( Rev. 2:7). Overcoming is with using the “tool of power” coming from the Holy Spirit in us, and therefore not entirely “our” works but the ” fruits of the HS” given by grace through the faith of Jesus, the “righteousness” that matters. God the Father wanted us from the beginning to have “first”, the wisdom and mind of Christ, and then change from mortal to immortal ” in a twinkling of an eye” to live eternally(immortality) but only through His strategic plan. 

This is the ” kingdom of God” made up of spirit beings in the likeness of Jesus, the Son of God, the Head of the Church and Body of Christ, “one” with him and by extension “one” with the Father.

Can the Spirit of God really dwell in man and work with the “spirit of man”?

Indeed, it is far-fetched to understand that there will be an in-dwelling of the Spirit of God in us. However, this Spirit of God, is so vital to our future that Jesus died and resurrected to get this gift from the Father , subsequently to be given to us. Read the following:
John 16:7″Nevertheless I (Jesus) tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away(die and resurrect): for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
John 14:26: “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you”( New Living Translation).
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17).
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
Also, in I John 4:1-3 show that Jesus is come in the flesh; and confirmed by I John 4:12 “that God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us”
Moreover, this Spirit of God dwelt fully in man-Jesus at baptism in river Jordan (Matthew 3:16) as a dove

I cannot envision a “kingdom of God ” not managed by humans, can you?

Currently, while we see human governments controlled by humans, strictly speaking, our present world (like it or not) is controlled or subject to “angelic powers”, the “god of this world” as in, 2 Corinthians 4:4, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”(Living Translation).
But in Hebrews 2:5, the future world’s “executive powers” will not be with angelic being like Satan, as in “And furthermore, it is not angels ( even Satan) who will control the future world we are talking about.”(New Living Translation).

The truth is, and one can bank on this, that the future world will not be subjected (again) to angels. This is why “humans” need to change into “sons of God” by adoption into the “God-kingdom”. Sons of God are immortal and of higher category than angelic spirit-beings. This is the destiny of humans to be “sons of God”

Does the Death of Christ atone for those who lived before and after him?

Yes, his death did atone for every human before and even after his human life on earth.  Jesus is the Logos Creator of all creation, including all humans. Adam sinned and the consequence of “second death” has been imputed to one man and this particular sin of Adam, i.e., not any other’s sin. Because of Adam’s sin, “second death” (which is future) came to all, so therefore to atone for that sin of Adam(and all), only one person needs to die as a PASSOVER LAMB, the Messiah Jesus.  See 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21;1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:6, 12,17-19; Rom 6:23 And, this is a mechanism of atonement that has been planned prior to creation. Subsequently, this plan was activated and implemented at the death of Christ. From then on, humanity can claim this imputation of Jesus’ death for everyone’s sin.   And, if, according to some scientists, there may have been humans before Adam, even those humans ( all sins imputed to Adam and death of Christ imputed to all) are “covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb.

What is God?

This is a very important question as it relates to who we are in the hierarchy of creation. As the Bible says, “the only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is…” Rom. 12:3(The Message, Colorado Springs, Navpress, 1993).
Knowing the different meanings of the original word translated to English “God” will illuminate our understanding. Where are we destined to be? Any concordance will describe what constitutes the generic word in Hebrew “Elohim” and “Theos” in Greek.
When the generic Elohim Creator is referred to, the specific name used is YHVH Elohim, El Shaddai, I AM. Otherwise, the generic name “elohim”and “theos” can also refer to angels including Lucifer the “god of this world”, judges or any human being.
Jesus confirmed that humans are also classified as “god”. As in, John 10:34 Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? Also in Ps. 82:6.

Yes, humans are classified by Jesus, the Creator/Logos himself, as “gods” in the hierarchy of living creation and higher than plants and animals. Currently, we are lower than angels. But, in the future, humans will be higher than them as the “world to come” will not be subjected again to angels but to us, being “sons of God” when we are changed in a twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal, and being in the “body of Christ”( Heb 2:5-18; Ps.8:4; I Cor. 15:52; I Cor. 12:27). We are currently “an image of God” but eventually will be changed not only “after his likeness or image(mortal, as in Genesis)” but be immortal. And, while similar in “immortal composition”, we are unique among each other and not the same. Yet, we will be “one” with Jesus the Son as well as “one” with God the Father in mindset, plan, direction and love for the Ten Commandments.  Overall, we  in the “God Kingdom”, will continue to be under Jesus (the Head of the body/church) and eventually “all under the Father”(ICor.15:24-28), a functional subordination.
This is our destiny, after the Spirit of God dwells in this “temple” to guide, nurture us to have the “mind of Christ”(I Cor. 2:16).
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What is the Kingdom of God?

What is the Kingdom of God?

Basic Christian doctrine teaches that the kingdom of God” is not of this world, it is still future when Jesus returns, it is a kingdom where God rules.

But, to a student of Botany and Zoology, one is taught about the plant kingdom and animal kingdom. Consider therefore that when God created living things, he created angelic-kingdom, plant-kingdom, and animal-kingdom.

But, when it came to “man“, he started in Genesis with “an image of him and after his likeness”(Genesis 1:26-27). Adam was composed of matter (dust of the ground) and “breath of life“(spirit of man) and was created perfectly but “weak”There was a missing component that man needed that convinced Jesus the “third time” (Matthew 26:40-46). that he had to die and go back to the Father to get this gift to in-dwell in us (John 16:7;14:16-26). The Holy Spirit is key to finishing the work the “Potter” has planned for man (Jeremiah 18:1-6).

While God started with a human in the garden of Eden, he was not creating a “kingdom of humans” or merely after an “image/ likeness” of him, not just “dust of the ground” (body). In fact, the dust-body will rot and we will be replaced with another but at that time an “spirit-composed body“, eternal and immortal.

Instead, God was creating a kingdom composed of “spirit beings like him“, a “Kingdom of God” above angelic kingdom. The kingdom of God is more than just a “government of God” and a place. It is a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) composed of immortal spirit-beings higher than angelic beings (Hebrews 2:5) and unique to one another, yet “one” with the Son and the Father, all in the “God-Kingdom“, with the Father above all and the Son, our Elder Brother (For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11).

Original post: July 20, 2015

Hyperlink version: February 8, 2019