Munching On The Knowledge Of Good
Munching On The Knowledge Of Good
There is an old adage which states, “you are what you eat.”
It is written,
“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.”
There were two trees in the center of the Garden of Eden. One tree was characterized by life (i.e. the tree of life) and one was characterized by death (i.e. the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.) It seems that, according to the scriptures, that the knowledge of good can be just a deadly as the knowledge of evil. Isn’t it interesting that God forbade mankind to partake of both?
How could the knowledge of something which is good cause death? Moreover, why did God wish to keep such knowledge from us? I believe that the answers to these questions may show us some of the fundamental reasons why some believers struggle in there Christian walks.
The knowledge of good is essentially the way that seems right to us. We determine what is good based upon our knowledge and understanding. We do what we think is good. One might ask, “why is that bad?”
The answer is that, when we do what is right (or good) in our own eyes, we do so without all the necessary information, foreknowledge, and purity of motive to make correct choices. God, on the other hand, who has complete and perfect knowledge, knows the end from the beginning, and is Holy can give us the correct choice through revelation every time.
If one looks at church history we see the “knowledge of good” in action; often times with terrible results. Many died during the inquisitions because people thought that it was better to kill someone’s body in this life so that their soul might be saved in the next. Catholicism was the dominant religion at the time and those who left the “faith” were literally tortured by members of the church to try to make them recant their blasphemous beliefs. What were these heretical beliefs? These heretics believed such evil things like salvation by faith and baptism by immersion. Thinking that they were “doing good” Catholics did the most horrible things imaginable to people who simply wanted to serve God.
Why does the acting according to the knowledge of good often times turn out so badly? Here is a truth and the answer,
“God never meant for us to live by the knowledge of good and evil but rather we were created to live by revelation.“
Anything we wanted to know, any decision that needed to make, was to be revealed to us. We were simply to ask God and, by faith, receive and do what He said. In the beginning there was such a “oneness” with His Spirit that this process was seemless and done without much thought. You could not tell where God began and Adam left off…they were one. If you saw Adam you saw God. This did not make Adam God but rather simply meant that Adam was made in God’s image and likeness. Adam was simply a man whom was indwelt by God, i.e. filled with His Holy Spirit.
However, when that “oneness” was broken Adam and his descendants no longer could access our Father’s infinite wisdom and holy character. Since we chose the knowledge of good and evil we were left without the revelation of God. We began to do what was right in our own eyes and chaos ensued. As man decided for Himself what was good and what was evil the pre-flood world descended into an ever increasing cycle of violence and misery. This continued for over 1500 years until God could no longer bear what His creation had become, repented that He had created it, and decided to destroy it. Man, through the knowledge of good and well as evil, had become totally corrupt. God was so angry that he wiped that first civilization off the face of the earth until nothing of it remains today.
The forbidden fruit is seductive because it promises results that we can control and manipulate. This is the essence of Science. Through the scientific method we understand our world through our nature minds. Furthermore, through that understanding we manipulate our world as we see fit. Science is, at it’s core, the knowledge of good and evil for what can produce electricity to power our cities for good can also be used for evil and level an entire metropolis. When we decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil we become our own source of revelation and usurp the position of God in our lives. This is the sin of Lucifer for he desired to be like the most high. When we follow in his path we fall just as far and will ultimately suffer his fate in the lake of fire.
Thankfully, once we accept Jesus Christ the way back to God is open to us. We have communion with Him when He forgives. The sin that separated us is washed away by faith in His sacrifice and we can begin to hear His voice again. Salvation is all about restoration of a relationship that mankind lost in the Garden of Eden. As we progress from glory to glory through different experiences with our Father we begin to regain His image and likeness. As we leave our own ways and yield to His ways we begin, once again, to live by revelation.
In conclusion, the way of revelation, or speaking to God and living by what God speaks to us, is the path of trusting His voice more than we trust our five senses. It is submitting to His will (as revealed through His Holy Spirit) rather than doing what seems good and reasonable to us. This is what it means to walk in the Spirit and this is the only way that Christ’s yoke becomes easy and his burden light. By living through revelation we cease from our own works and allow Christ to be formed in us and live through us.