And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ” Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16)
Have you ever wished that Adam and Eve had never eaten of that tree? Imagine how wonderful the world would be without
shame and disgrace, bitterness and envy, hatred, violence, anger, pride and selfishness. How great if we could enjoy the
glory of the Lord all day long, and discover and learn and grow endlessly in the knowledge and wisdom and love of God! If
only there were no barriers in our relationship with God! We may regret what Adam did, but all too often we choose to
repeat his mistake. This happens when we exalt the voice of independent reason above the true voice of God. It happens
when we look to the laws of God more than we look to God Himself. It happens when we wonder what would happen if we
just indulge in some sin, and experience the evil thing which seems so tantalising. All too often Christians are repeating the
same error, not because they have to, but because the spell of satanic deception has not been fully broken.
For those of us who will enter God’s Kingdom, one day things will be wonderful. Yet, even now, by repenting and turning
from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and by turning to Jesus, the Tree of Life, we can enjoy far more of God. We
can also be a far greater blessing to others, if we will eat of the right tree and say “No” to the enticements of the other.
This Pharisees had much religious zeal, but it was a zeal rooted in the Tree of Knowledge and not the Tree of Life. Jesus said
to them, “You search the Scriptures, because you believe that in them you have eternal life. These are they, that testify of
Me. But you are not willing to come to Me, that you might have life.” (John 5:38,39).
Many (but not all) conservative evangelicals in our day are making the same error as did the Pharisees. They search the
Scriptures, but are not willing to come and experience the things the Scripture speak of. By superimposing a theological
framework upon the Scriptures which effectively denies the power of God to do anything unusual in answer to prayer, they
claim things such as “the Bible teaches that the age of miracles has past”, “the gifts of the spirit have passed away”, “tongues
is not for today”, “a born again Christian can have struggles with the flesh, but never needs deliverance”, “it may not be God’s
will to heal”, “Christ did not die for all men” and so on. All these lies are satanic suggestions designed to hinder evangelism.
Yet often the very people who believe they are the most zealous for right doctrine and for Scriptural truth end up being the
ones to promote these deadening concepts. The apostle Paul took a different approach. Though himself a very learned man,
he made it his aim to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. But Paul’s knowledge of “Jesus
Christ and Him crucified” was not merely a cold intellectual endorsement of the existence of Jesus Christ and the historical
fact of his crucifixation. Paul knew Jesus Christ intimately, not only as Forgiver of sins, but also as Savior from sin, healer,
deliverer, guide, master, teacher, baptizer in the Holy Spirit and in many other His aspects and offices. He knew Jesus Christ
crucified and so was able to clearly depict this in his preaching, as he did before the Galatians (Galatians 3:1).
As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1). We need knowledge but we need it as the Spirit
of God leads us into it, and not as our own self-will would lead us into it. The knowledge that comes by the Spirit is
revelation and life. The knowledge that comes by the independent action of self is death and bondage.
The internet gives us access to much knowledge. It can be a means to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or it
could be a means to impart Jesus as the Tree of Life. Many people are finding the knowledge of both good and evil things
through the net, and even experiencing them to some extent. We need to restrain ourselves, and not trust ourselves to
navigate our way to the information that we need to be giving attention to. That could lead to death.
All of us need to give ourselves to prayer and worship, and waiting on God, none of which require the internet. If we feel
compelled to go after the knowledge that we can find on the net, and never wait on God for the revelation we need, we are
cursed, because we are trusting in men more than God. In the name of learning more about God, or about good and evil, we
actually separate ourselves from the source of fellowship we could be having with God.
I urge you to make it your quest to be focussed on the Lord Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, and trusting in Him. And I ask you
to pray for me, that it might always be so in my life.
For information on the Tree of Life, which we should be eating of, see here.
God bless you,