Almost everyone knows – or at least have heard of – the story of The Garden of Eden.
In the story, we read how God planted a beautiful garden and placed the man Adam in it; and later his wife, Eve.
Most know that God planted trees in the garden for Adam and Eve to nourish themselves on. Most know that God planted in the middle of the garden two special trees: Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad.
Most know that God told Adam that he was not to eat of the fruit from one of those trees (The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad) because it would lead to his death. Most know that Adams wife did eat from this tree and gave some of the fruit from it to Adam.
Most know that because of what Eve and later Adam did, God put them out of the Garden.
Many persons believe that the fruit on the “forbidden” tree was an apple or some other literal fruit or the sex act. Some believe that the “forbidden” tree was a bad tree. Others view the entire story as fiction and nonsense.
I believe the story to be true, but not as the religious system of Christianity has taught it.
I am convinced that the story and events surrounding these two trees that God placed in the middle of the garden, has been told incorrectly and is in gross error.
What is presented in this article is a more serious consideration of these two trees.
Are All Trees Planted in the Garden Good or Bad?
The error many make when reading from the Genesis account is that God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and bad in the Garden of Eden as a test for Adam. That makes absolutely no sense and is a popular view that should be challenged and put to the test according to 1 John 4:1. This article represents that challenge as I uphold Scripture in this regard.
What do the Scriptures say concerning all of the trees planted in the Garden of Eden?
The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9) (NIV)
It says that every tree was planted there by God. All of them were attractive looking and all of them were good for food. Even the Tree of the Knowledge of God and Bad would be good for food but only when God would release His Creation – man – to eat from it. The time was not yet.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad was not a bad tree and nowhere in Scripture are we told that this was a bad tree. It was The Most High God who planted it there. None of the trees He planted in the Garden were bad.
A Tree Bad or Bad For Adam?
A loving mother of a newborn baby does not give her child solid food. Nor, does she allow her child to consume food that is indigestible to the baby’s system.
Babies initially can only live on their mother’s milk or other provisions that mothers can provide for their babies that would be safe for them to consume. Babies are dependent on “mothers milk” until such time they grow and mature enough to feed themselves.
What was Adam when he was initially created? He was a newborn creation. His Creator knew – in his infantile state – what was good for him. And, what was good for him was to feed on all of the other trees in the Garden including the Tree of Life. It was only from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad that God told Adam that he must not eat from. Why?
Because his infantile-like state would not be able to digest and properly assimilate the “fruit of knowledge” on it and it would lead to his death. Thus, proper knowledge at the proper time is life or death. Why would partaking of the fruit of knowledge on this tree cause Adam’s death? Because Adam in his immature and infantile state – as a new creation – was not ready to eat from the more solid fruitage on this tree. In a sense, it would be mind-blowing!
To illustrate; I saw a commercial on TV where a young child – about 4 or 5 years old – was shell-shocked by bombs that had destroyed her village. Hearing the terrible noise of those bombs and seeing the destruction they caused adversely impacted this poor child. Her life as a child ended, she would be forever changed. Below is that video:
Video to appear soon
Here is the command that God laid upon the man …
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
It was not that Adam would never be allowed to eat of the fruit of this tree, but not just yet. His system would not be able to handle the fruit on the tree. Just like a baby’s digestive system would not be able to take in solid food. Constant intake of solid food by a baby would kill it.
Thus, Adam was told that he must eat only from the other trees in the Garden. In time, Adam would have reached a maturation point – which would have been determined by his Creator – that would have allowed him to be able to digest the more meaty fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad.
So the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad was not a bad tree, it was simply bad for Adam in the infantile and immature state that he was in as a new creation.
Adam was not only to nourish and sustain himself by the other trees in the Garden but also live by eating from the most important tree in the Garden: The Tree of Life.
What Is The Tree of Life?
Our Lord Jesus made an interesting statement to Satan during his temptation at Matthew 4:4:
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The “bread” that Adam was physically feeding on in the Garden where the other fruit trees in the Garden. But there was another feeding that Adam undertook: It was a spiritual feeding that could only be had from the fruit on the Tree of Life. What was that fruit on this tree?
The utterances that come “from the mouth of God!” The fruit from the Tree of Life that Adam had to feed on and rely on if he was to continue to live was his “mothers milk,” his Creators words. The fruit on the Tree of Life was and are the Words of God.
Therefore, the Tree of Life are the words of The Most High God! No wonder Jesus referred to himself as “the life.” Why? Because he is The Word of God. The Tree of Life!
Adam’s continued listening to and learning from His Creator would have properly matured him in time. This was the feeding. To cease to listen to his Creator would mean that his maturation would be stunted and he would eventually die.
So the fruit from the Tree of Life was not a physical fruit like the other trees. This tree – which was in the middle of the Garden – represented God’s presence with Adam and the fruit on this tree was The Word of God.
What, then is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad and what was the fruit on it?
What Is The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad?
It must be understood that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad occupied an honored position alongside the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden.
The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9) (NWT)
This tree – like the Tree of Life – was not a physical tree nor was the fruit on it physical fruit that one could physically digest.
To properly gain an understanding as to what this tree is, we must first look at something Eve did and what God said to her after she did it.
What did Eve do?
Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. (Genesis 3:6)
She began taking of the fruit from this tree and eating it. Think about that. Scripture does not say that Eve simply started to eat. She began taking of the fruit from this tree. This means that she had taken time to make the decision to eat from it and – as we all know – it takes time for food to digest in our system. This means that as Eve was eating, she was taking time to let what it is that she was eating to digest into her system.
Eve listened to a voice – other than that of her husband and her Creator – that convinced her to eat. This took an element of time, too. Eve engaged in a conversation with an entity that convinced her to eat from this tree. That convincing took time.
Adam was not with Eve when this entity – the Serpent – spoke with her. Adam was in the middle of the Garden with Eve, but not with her when she conversed with the Serpent. Adam was elsewhere in the middle of the Garden. Adam would not stand by idly and let his wife engage in a conversation with some one tempting her to eat from a tree they were told not to eat from
Notice what Eve goes on to do.
Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it. (Genesis 3:6)
So Eve gave whatever it was she got from this tree to her husband.
Now notice what God says to Adam, as this is the key to understanding what the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad is and the fruit on it.And to Adam he said:
“Because you listened to your wife’s voice and took to eating from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. (Genesis 3:17)
Did you get that? The fruit that Adam received from his wife and ate was something his wife told him! Not a literal piece of fruit but the “fruit of her lips!” The fruit was a tidbit of information! He listened to her voice or the words that came from her mouth!
It only stands to reason that the fruit Eve ate, was information/knowledge the Serpent told her as well!
That Eve engaged in a conversation with the Serpent and the Serpent was telling her things concerning the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, means that the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad were the words of the Serpent. The tree itself was the Serpent. Eve had taken the time to listen to the Serpent, weigh and decide what he was saying, and digesting it (being convinced) that what he was telling her was true.
Now get this: The Serpent – an angel – was not initially a bad character. God planted him in the Garden. It seems most likely that the Serpent was placed in the Garden to take care of it and to watch over the man and the woman.
This Serpent – who must have been greatly loved by The Most High God was given a privileged and grand assignment to look over his new creation – Man. This Serpent occupied a favored position next to God himself.
One should not think of the Serpent as being initially bad. He became bad when he lied to Eve. He knew that getting her and her husband to listen to his words (digest them), he would be able to stunt their growth causing death to them and their offspring for generations to come.
This Serpent – for selfish reasons – knew that God had something special in mind for his new creation and he did not want to see it come to a completion. I believe that if Adam would have been allowed to reach maturation, he and all of us today would be something more glorious than the angels – the Serpent included.
It is not said of angels that they were created in God’s image; only man.
The Serpent knew this and did not want to see this new creation achieve the status for which God created them.
The Way of the Tree of Life Still Guarded?
It is interesting that after Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden where the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad were, that we are told that only the way to the Tree of Life was guarded.And so he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
We are told that it was only on the eastern side of Eden that Cherubs were posted to guard access to the Tree of Life. That means that the northern, southern and western entrances to Eden were unguarded.
Obviously, the Tree of Life could not be accessed via these entrances. Since Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad is a moot point as this tree – The Serpent – went with Adam and Eve. Remember, they listened to his words (ate his fruit) and this was within them. So where ever Adam and Eve went, with them, the Serpent followed. He is still with us all today as we have inherited a sinful nature as a result of his deception of our first parents. We are in his world and the world is saturated with his words (his fruit) and empty religions and philosophies.
If the Tree of Life are The Words God Himself, who is the only one who is the way to him? I think you know.
Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
That means that the way to the Tree of Life is no longer guarded; Jesus is that way.
The Tree of Life Mentioned in The Book of Revelation
It is equally intriguing that we see the Tree of Life mentioned in The Book of Revelation. It is Jesus himself who grants access to it (he is the way to it) so persons can feed from it.
Let the one who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the congregations: To him, that conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
The paradise of God spoken of here is not in heaven, it is earthly.
Many within the Church-systems always talk and teach about going up. That is, going up to heaven. Rarely do they mention what is coming down to us: The Kingdom of God.
Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. (Matthew 6:10)
Scripture does not teach that mankind is with God in heaven. It does not teach that when Christians die that they will “go home” and be with God. Rather, Scripture teaches it the other way around. It teaches that God is with mankind and He will reside with them as He had a presence with Adam in the middle of the Garden as represented by the Tree of Life. We see God’s presence (The Tree of Life) again in the future being (residing) with mankind.
With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. (Revelation 21:3)
So the trees existing in Garden of Eden were all good trees. Some were for physical sustenance while others for a greater purpose: for eternal sustenance. Sustenance that would have carried mankind through an eternity of time to learn and grow under his Creators loving guidance which would have allowed mankind to mature into something unimaginably special: Jehovah’s crowning glory: Something above even the angels!
Unfortunately, that maturation process was stunted by one who is still in existence today: The Serpent. He continues to resist God and the provision – or way to Him, Jesus – in order to not let God finish his work in our regard.
We must never forget that God did not finish his work with mankind; He simply rested from creating anything else. We must also not forget, that Jehovah has not said concerning the seventh day what He said concerning the first six creative days.
We are currently in that seventh day and when we have reached that state of maturation as God originally intended, He will then say: “It is finished. There came to be evening and there came to be morning, a seventh day.”
No one of importance. A disciple (student) of Christ apart from the established religious systems who reasons, thinks and concludes matters for myself. Something is not right with the state of religion in the world. The real dichotomy is that we live in a world so full of religion, yet is an evil, immoral, and dangerous place to live. A mental and spiritual separation from this world that Jesus said his kingdom is no part of is the first step to a "break-through" to freedom and entry into a much larger spiritual world where God and Christ resides and the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God can be accessed.