September 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Trees part 2 – Death


There were two trees in the Eden narrative – the Tree of life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  One sustained life, the other brought death.  In the last post, we saw that life is the ability to repair physically and spiritually.  Physical life is in the blood, and spiritual life is in words.  The right nutrients in blood can repair physical damage, and the right information in words can repair spiritual damage.  The right information (expressed in words) that can repair and lead to spiritual life, are words of repentance.  Repentance begins with contrastive thinking.

With the right blood, and the right thinking, you could repair forever and have eternal life.

If life is the ability to repair, then obviously “death” is the inability to repair.

Early onset death

Since death did not exist before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it is logical to assume that they were initially immortal, or at least had the means to sustain their “alive” status without any cellular degradation (presumably by eating from the Tree of Life). But when they ate the forbidden fruit, something happened to disrupt this.

So what happened when they ate the fruit?  Their disobedience cut them off from righteousness (God) and instead of repenting and repairing, they chose to be comparative.  This comparative thinking lead to a form of brain damage that was passed on to their genetic offspring (us).  Thus, while Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, we are all born in the image of fallen Adam and Eve.

We’ve inherited their brain damage.  We are born without the connection to righteousness (God) that they had.  We are born self-centered instead of God-centered.  We are born with an innate capacity for comparative thinking.  We are born without an innate desire for contrastive thinking (Romans 3:10-12).  We are born without the ability for sustainable spiritual self-repair – we are born spiritually dead.

When Adam and Eve got the boot from the Garden of Eden, they also lost access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24), so they lost the capacity for sustainable physical self-repair, and their bodies began to age and deteriorate toward physical death.  And their offspring suffer the same curse.

Eternal death

But this situation, while just, presents God with a problem.  A population of spiritually dead and physically dying people would make it impossible for God to get what He wants (spending eternity with the walking dead probably isn’t much fun – unless you’re Stephen King).  So God has to come up with a just way for dead and dying people to regain life.

How can the dead and dying regain life?  By being reborn.  In order to be reborn, we first have to die.

We will all die at least once.  Our physical bodies will one day die and decompose, but our spirit is different.  It cannot cease to exist because it is eternal.  However, as we just read, our spirit can be “dead” when it cannot repair.

The living dead

Yet while we are born spiritually dead, we are born physically alive. We continue to grow and repair (non-lethal) damage until we peak in early adulthood, then we deteriorate and die physically.

If a physical rebirth were possible, it would have to happen after physical death.  but since we are born spiritually dead, we could conceivably experience spiritual rebirth while we are physically alive.  We could be spiritually “born again” even though our physical bodies are deteriorating.

How could this rebirth happen?  Through perfect thinking and perfect blood.  If we could gain access to perfect thinking and perfect blood, we could be reborn into spiritual life while we are still physically alive (though deteriorating), and regain sustainable physical life after our bodies die.

So if we could experience two births (Initial physical birth and spiritual rebirth) we would only die once (physical body).  However if you were to choose not to access the perfect thinking and perfect blood for whatever reason, then when your physical body dies, justice would demand that your spirit be put into a state in which it could not repair for eternity.  We’ll discuss this in a later post when we address “Hell”.

In a nutshell – if you’re born twice, you die once.  If you’re born once, you die twice.

It would seem then that a result of the first dispensation was the need for God to find a righteous and just way to give humanity access to perfect thinking and perfect blood so that those who chose to accept it could live for eternity.  This idea will prove to be the seed plot of our entire history.

Understanding life and death completes our look at the Tree of Life.  Now we need to take a look at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Why did gaining knowledge of good and evil lead to death for Adam and Eve?  In order to answer that, we need to understand what “good” and “evil” are.  Next time…

Related Podcasts:

Alive and Well, or Dead and Dying

Blood and Words – the Cure for Death

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4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Trees part 2 – Death
  1. Connie

    Something wrong here…..If you are born spiritually dead how can you “choose” to access the perfect thinking and perfect blood for “whatever” reason. The dead can’t choose. Also, God said He chose you, you didn’t choose Him. You are discounting God’s sovereignity. You will choose Him after you have been quickened in the Spirit, but not before and that quickening is by the Holy Spirit and not of your doing either. A dead spirit is just that…dead.


    1. E. Mabrie

      Hello Connie,

      Thank you for your comments. In addressing your concerns, it’s important to understand the definition of spiritual death given in the post, as well as the definitions of human nature and “free will” given in earlier posts.

      Being born spiritually “dead” means that we are born without a connection to God – or more specifically, without fellowship with God. God is the source of life (repair), and without that life, we are spiritually dead (although we are physically alive for a time). However, human beings have free will, which is the ability to choose to act outside of our nature. Therefore, a human being can choose to accept God’s offering of perfect blood and perfect thinking which would put us back into fellowship with Him.

      A couple of questions for you – Does the Bible actually say that God sovereignly chooses some people to be with Him without their input or consent? If so, then wouldn’t that also mean that He is relegating those He does not choose to Hell without their input or consent? Is that something you think a Righteous and Just God would do?

      1. Connie

        Hello Mr. Mabrie,

        “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the Tongue, is from the Lord. The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16, 1,4,9. “Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24. “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me but with judgement, not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.” Jeremiah 10: 23,24.

        Indeed mans steps are ordered by the Lord, so how can a man understand his own way.

        So much has been said about man’s free will down through the years. There are multitudes of things we will that never happen. When Jesus said, I will be thou healed, his will happened there and then. A prophet “willed” to go and curse Israel, but was stopped by his ass. Saul of Tarsus willed to kill more Christians but was stopped in his tracks on the Damascus Rd. If it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps, where does his free will come in.

        If Adam had actually died spiritually (without a connection to God) how was he able to hear the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day and fellowship with Him? On the flip side, how many spiritually “born again” and greatly anointed people clearly hear the voice of God in an undeniable utterance?

        As stated above, “The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the Tongue is from the Lord”. God prepares the heart,
        because man cannot will to prepare his own heart. If man has a will, it is carnal, (it deviseth his way) but God’s will is irresistible, directeth mans steps and gives life abundantly.

        Yes, man can choose, and suffer consequences for those carnal choices, but man’s nature cannot choose God because it is carnal. When he chose the tree of good and evil, his nature dictates those choices, good or evil. Even his good choices are “as filthy rags”.

        That is why we can say that Jesus “did it all”. Its His faith, His righteousness, His will, His obedience, His choosing and everything of Him and by Him imputed to us that saves us. Just like it was God’s will to create heaven and earth and all that is in it, we have nothing we can contribute to this new creation either, including will.

        Grace and peace,

        1. E. Mabrie

          Hi Connie,

          I think I need to provide further clarification and definitions.

          Will – When someone (God, Satan, you) acts in, or does their “will”, they are acting in their nature. For example, God’s nature is always and completely right and just, so when God acts in His will, He is doing something completely right and just, or something that will result in righteousness and justice. Satan’s nature is evil, so when he does his will, it results in destruction. Human nature is NOT always and completely right and just. When we do our will, it is, as you stated, “carnal”.

          Free Will – Again, free will is the ability to choose to act OUTSIDE of one’s nature. Man has this ability. Man can choose to act in righteousness and justice. Of course since God is the only source of complete righteousness and justice, choosing God is the only way that man can always and completely exercise that free will. Again, as I wrote in my post that explained free will, this is an ability that is exclusive to man. God does NOT have free will. He cannot act outside of His nature. He can’t NOT be always and completely right and just. Satan also does not have free will. He can’t NOT be evil.

          Choice – notice that I did NOT equate “free will” with “choice”. Choice is something that all sentient (thinking) beings have (God, Satan, Angels, humans). Free will (as I’ve defined it) is something that only man has. It seems that you are defining free will and choice as the same thing and holding me accountable for it, however, that is rhetorically invalid since I gave my definition of free will prior to the “Death” post, and it differs from yours.

          Spiritual Death – being spiritually dead means that you are no longer in CONSTANT contact with the source of life (God). Adam was is constant contact with God until he chose to disobey Him (not listen to Him), and eat the forbidden fruit. At that point Adam severed his connection with God and died spiritually. This did not mean that he (or those born spiritually dead after him) could never hear from God. It means they were no longer in CONSTANT communication with Him. If you look throughout the Old Testament, you will see that God only spoke to men (by His voice, prophets, or the law) for limited periods of time. And the Holy Spirit would “come upon” certain men for a limited period of time (like Samson), and then He would depart. However under the New Covenant, if we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit LIVES inside us and we are in constant contact with Him and He communicates with us constantly (grace). That is what Jesus meant when He said he came to bring us life.

          Hope this helps to clarify things a bit.


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