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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131372
03/03/11 04:22 AM
03/03/11 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I agree with this, although I would change the "some of the things" to "many of the things" in regards to EGW. That is, a great deal of what she writes can be found in Scripture, if one has a discerning eye.

No argument from me. The more the better, however much coordinated work needs to be done in this area by those who believe the SOP because I have heard many wild and detrimental attempts to make such Bible Proofs of SOP statements. Though a “discerning eye” is indeed needed and helpful in doing this, one still needs to be exegetically competent in order to discover the many other proofs that literally ‘lie beneath the surface’ of modern mis-translations (where/when applicable).

Originally Posted By: Tom
While working with Biblical languages is important, it seems to me a far greater deficiency is a lack of familiarity with the culture and history, the "milieu," which leads to many fanciful interpretations for which there may appear to be a linguistic support, but which, taking into account the historical setting, would be impossible. Perhaps the State of the Dead is an example of this.

I do not know where you stand exactly on the State of the Dead, (apparently I cannot take it for granted that an SDA will have the same view as the Fundamental SDA view(?!?)), but I have personally found that improper exegesis, which can only include such multifaceted depth, is indeed a greater example of this. Let me clearly state that when I say exegesis, I fully understand, mean and am referring to all of the sub-elements involved in it other than Biblical Languages.

Originally Posted By: Tom
It seems really odd to me that you would consider these passages to be foundational when it comes to the question of eternal life and eternal death. Why wouldn't a passage like John 3:16, for example, be more foundational? Or Romans 6:23? Or the many passages in John where life is linked to Christ? Is it really possible that the message of Scripture is that life comes from a tree, as opposed to from Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the resurrection and the life," and of whom it is said, "He who has the Son has life; He who has not the Son has not life"?

I can understand your (surfacely seen) objection here, but I do consider the Genesis passages to be “foundational” because (1) they were said by God Himself and (2) they were made at a time when there was no sin in the world. If man had not fallen, the sacrifice of Jesus would never have been necessary. Also if you read e.g., EW 149-153 you’ll see that the plan of Redemption was only (most relunctantly) agreed upon, and manifestly established, by God the Father, at the convincing insistence of Christ, only after man has fallen. As EGW points out just after the fall: “Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and that world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender.” (EW 149.2) (Relatedly, the Bible speaks of ‘Christ being (symbolically, i.e., through types) since/“away from” the foundation of the world and not “before”, that is if Rev 13:8 & 17:8 are even saying that. So this agrees with this post fallen plan and typological implementation.) All this to say that God’s plan for man to live eternally was originally apart from a Sacrifice of Christ. And that life perpetuating plan was through the Tree of Life. As EGW says: “Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he was to have access to the tree of life.” {PP 49.2} As I have said before, the post fall sacrifice of Christ came to make it possible to have man spiritually restored to a perfect state before God and thus once again grant this right to access the Tree of Life.

It is through this foundational “Perfect/Sinless World” plan of God that I view this issue and the Bible and SOP, with the Tree of Life mention in heaven, to which we will have free access (cf. Rev 2:8), is clear that this will again be the plan once sin is removed from the this world and the universe.

So in regards to Christ statements, which are factually all from God’s (reluctant) Plan B in regards to providing eternal/perpetuating life for man, I’ll use the following illustration:

If I am seeking to buy a house but do not have all of the cash at hand, I’ll therefore need to go to a bank which will make me a loan and actually pay that money directly to the house owner, allowing be to buy the house. I can’t truthfully say to others that I bought the house out of my own money because without the bank covering my cash shortcoming, that would not have been possible at all. So in this way, when I say that fallen man has perpetual life by eating of the tree of life, I implicitly do and can only mean that this is only possible through the sin covering and atoning sacrifice of Christ. However for Unfallen/Sinless Man (i.e., a buyer with all of the cash on hand) such a claim to unmediated, even unaided access would truthful as it factually would be the case.

That may be surfacely “shocking” to hear, but it is all the Biblical/Theological reality. So that is why I consider these pre-fall statements of God to be most foundational.

A question that you need to answer is: What do you believe is the function of the Tree of Life since you obviously do not see that it is to perpetuate man’s life?

Also in regards to the foundational statement in Gen 2:17b, it is most significant to me that God, as seen in the 3rd person singular suffix attached to a particle preposition and related to a Qal infinitive absolute verb collectively rightly rendered as: ‘[In the day that you (Adam) eat of it], out of the reason of Man naturally dying’ was abstractly/generally stating, even before man sinned that ‘(Created) Man was subject to naturally die.’ So (now using a 2nd person singular suffix with a Qal imperfect again with the verb “to die”) to pointedly/specifically refer to Adam himself), when God added: “you (Adam) will consequently, naturally die.”

Originally Posted By: Tom
Assuming the words of Jesus Christ count as words coming directly from the mouth of God, there are many passages where Christ explains the causes of life and death, including faith in Him and obedience. Since I'm sure you're familiar with them, I won't quote them, but wouldn't you agree that Christ taught that obedience/faith in Him leads to eternal life, whereas disobedience/unbelief leads to eternal death?

Prophetically speaking, I do see that Christ’s words were that of the Father (cf. John 14:24) and even the apparent mistake in Matt 10:23 would have been (as it is fully understandable in the proper understanding of God and the Future) that this also had been God’s plan at that early point in Christ’s ministry. So in applicable prophetic comparison with EGW, I would say that all of Christ’s statements were from “I was shown” types of revelations.

I believe I have already addressed your other comments here in the above discussion of Tree of Life, The Plan of Redemption, and the Plan B nature of the Cross in regards for man to being able to perpetually live. In regards to the “obedience” comment here I most pertinently again quote the above mentioned statement/understanding of EGW in PP 49.2.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Here are points made in the above paragraph, to which you are responding:

1.The Bible is a spiritual book.
2.It is spiritually discerned.
3.If we view death as primarily/only physical, we miss the point.
4.If physical death is the primary/only thing that matters, then there are other deaths more impressive than Christ's.

You didn't respond to any of these points, other than to make a general statement regarding what the Bible "literally" says is what's important. Do you disagree with any of these assertions? If you do, please state so, and state why.

Also, when you speak of what the Bible "literally" says, what do you mean by this? The Bible, being a spiritual book, is spiritually discerned. We need the Holy Spirit to understand it. Our willingness to respond to Him, our willingness to understand and to do God's will are critical to our ability to correctly understand Scripture. Do you disagree?

From both intellectual knowledge and personal experience I fully believe and know that the Bible is a spiritual book and that spiritual discernment is key to understanding it. However I have to problems with applying this at this stage, especially as this is not indispensably required. Firstly, as I have shown above, the Plan of Salvation was God’s Plan B in regards to how man was to live perpetually. Had man not sinned it would not even have been planned, let alone implemented. So from this alone, it can be seen that: how (sinless) man can live perpetually without being immortal is indeed seen in the Genesis statements on this issue, with one (2:17b) being pre-fall.

Secondly, when one makes “spiritual discernment” be the first “resource” to understanding the Bible over first, at least, exegetically having an accurate rendering of the text from the original language, it therefore really becomes a futile subjective exercise which really depends on what “spirit” is influencing that person. It is easily to claim that this is the “Spirit of God” that really is a private/subjective opinion. I think the Bible even makes Biblical exegesis the arbitrating test of such claimed spirits by testing what they said with the word of God (cf. 1 Thess 5:20; Act 17:11). That is why EGW also subjected herself to this Bible testing. As you can see in this other discussion of mine (see section {20}), I had this same problem with another SDA who, staunchly quoting 1 John 2:20, was claiming that they did not need to do exegetical studies because the “unction of the Holy Spirit” would directly tell them what is truth. I then showed them how their claimed “unction” was really just limited by the Bible version they happen to be using. So having an accurate text and reading is paramountly most foundational and important.

Here you are claiming that this issue must be understood through a spiritual prism and based upon this view, you are just “ignoring” passages like Gen 2:17 & 3:22-24 which, as repeatedly shown say much upon this issue and in a straightforward (=”literal”) way. As I said before, Theology that is not rooted in, and derived from, proper exegesis leads to all sorts of false “spiritual” claims and conclusions. This is what I see is insistently occurring here, and why I had much prefer to not continue this, then futile discussion, because you are here, again, “ignoring” Theologically and Chronologically (even beyond a strict timeline way, but here with pre-fall involvement) foundational texts, to present what it really your view of what the sacrifice of Christ means, i.e., without it man (and, by implication, sinless man), would not be able to perpetually live forever. It is black on white clear that this is not what the Bible and SOP is saying. So again what you have done is just (truncatedly) see that sin = death, whereas the full Biblical teaching in this regards is that sin without eating from the tree of live = death (Gen 3:22-24 & PP 60.3). I just can’t and won’t ignore these Biblical statements to, effectively, “get caught up” in your selective spiritualization of this issue. The word of God is my arbitrator and anchor here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
There are opinions as to whether this meant physically die on that very day, spiritually die on that very day, or begin to die on that day. Aren't you aware of this?

Now that aspect of this text I am fully aware of and it is indeed greatly disputed. However that is not what we were pointedly discussing. I was referring to the often hendiadys rendered portion as “surely die”. So that is why I was also wondering where you were getting this “great confusion”.

Originally Posted By: Tom
My point wasn't that it can't be understood, but that it's a highly controverted passage. I asked you why you think this is the case. I'll venture to suggest it's because it's a difficult passage to understand.

I personally believe that “in the day” has a ‘pivotal change’ understanding here (see Waltke and O’Connor, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, 196), which says: ‘from the day you eat of it [...] you will consequently, naturally die.’ Again this was to naturally continue to occur in ‘naturally dying man’ because access to the tree of life would immediately be barred thus making it impossible for Man to heal/restore his ‘naturally dying’ body.

So when proper exegesis is applied here (e.g., syntax and context) it does not become that “difficult” to understand.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I think if it were this simple, there would be widespread agreement as to its meaning.

I think I have demonstrated this simplicity above. You’ll be surprised, even shocked, by how much such claims of “understanding impossibility” are actually the fault of a combination of scholarly pride, stubborness and outright laziness, to allow advance studies to replace prior cherished beliefs/assumptions and correct both one’s view and scholarly knowledge. I know I am from many such experiences in the past 13+ years of scholarly research and studies.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This isn't a reasonable assertion. First of all, it pits personal opinion against factual opinion, which doesn't make sense. You are expressing an opinion, which is yours, so it is certainly a personal opinion. It may or may not be true.

Secondly, what's the point in such an assertion? I can just as readily say that what I'm writing to you are not personal opinions, but are facts. How would that be helpful?

Since all of your comments here are stemming from a belief that I am making that statement up, read e.g., the section in the book Inspiration by Alden Thompson, pp. 290-295ff to see many such examples of these theological understandings errors in the SOP. I had made those statements in the light of these facts.

My point is that the statements of EGW are to always be tested by the Bible to see if they are in harmony with what has been written there.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This is a reference to the Sanctuary service, where the greater light referred to the Pentateuch, and the lesser light were the other writings of the Old Testament. The thought is not that the lesser is inferior in terms of quality (i.e., less error-prone), or inspiration.

I rather more fully see that EGW lesser light was a light where the Greater light available in the Bible could be more easily taken in. Just like a commentary helps to explain what is said in the Bible. However, it is still a fact that EGW’s understanding was not inerrant and at once full, in fact not even complete, but gradually increased even having to correct pass misunderstandings. So that is why I test her statements with the Bible and not vice versa.

Succintly said, as an example, (see in this post)when relating the episode of Christ’s appearance to Mary after his resurrection, EGW had no problem quoting her Bible verbatim then to say “Touch me not...” for ca. 50 years until when she wrote the Desire of Ages and manifestly got the “light” here that Jesus had actually said “Do not detain me...” She made this deliberate correction in DA {790.2} as seen by the fact that this segment is left out of her verbatim quote of her Bible. Many modern scholars and Bible translation now see that this “holding onto” vs. ‘mere touching’ notion is indeed the accurate understanding here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Is it your idea that these are present in the SOP, but not in Scripture? That's what I'm asking.

As stated for the SOP, Yes though in a very small amount, and thus far in my deeper studying of the Bible, in regards to such Theological misunderstandings, No. (A factual mistake that I have seen in the Bible, which may be Matthew’s own or possibly Jesus’ is in Matt 23:35 as that “Zechariah” was apparently the one in 2 Chr 24:20, 21, but he was the son of Jehoiada.) However as I said, I do not see EGW statements to contradict my view. In fact, reading them in the light of her other statements on this matter (e.g., PP 60.3) I see that she had this same understanding as mine. I rather have/see a difference with your view which is leaving the tree of life completely out of this sin = death equation.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Again, you are asserting that what you say is not opinion but fact. I don't see the point in doing so. Anyone can do this. Why bother? Of course you believe what you say is true.

That is the furthest thing from what I said and meant. As I mentioned before, this conclusion of your is evidently out of your ignorance of these EGW “mistakes” so I recommend that you read up on them.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I wasn't asking you a question in terms of Bible vs. Bible, but in terms of Bible vs. the SOP.

Great! Glad to clear up the misunderstanding here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Your response appeared to be stating you believe the Bible is inerrant, whereas the SOP is not, and that Ellen White was greatly dependent upon some things she understood, whereas the Bible writers were not. I'm wanting to know how the Bible writers could not be greatly dependent upon things they understood.

They indeed were, though to a much lesser extent than EGW for the many present exegetical factors readily available and understandable to them, contrary to EGW living in America, and some 1800+ years later. The difference that I see and state is that they did not make Theological misunderstanding and exegetical errors as EGW did in some places. (Cf. 2 Pet 1:20, 21). I personally believe that this was both out of a natural development given their inherent familiarity with the key exegetical factors at hand and also because God was in the process of setting up this Biblical canon. And so His Spirit actively work to help prevent these errors from taking place. I do not see this a being the case with EGW, except for explicit “I was shown statements” or those that are seen to be derived from such explicit revelations. So EGW when she continue to carefree eat meat and even unclean meats up through the 1890's, implicitly endorsing this for the Church, that was not the work of God’s Spirit but her own personal preference and also improper understanding that oysters were unclean.

To an even lesser extent, I see this being the case in the Jewish apocrypha, which EGW was shown in vision were valuable, though not fully trustworthy, resources for us today. As most of these works were written in the intertestamental period, because this was a time of spiritual lukewarmness and actual waywardness amongst the Jews especially by having neglected to follow the counsels and plans given in the exilic book of Ezekiel, God was not able to fully work with these people and thus only partial revelation was given to them occasionally recorded in these works. However these gems were obscured by the greater “worldy” and fantasaical genre of work that was allowed to be considered as “inspired” writings, indeed in a man-made attempt to “inspire” the Jewish nation to greatness.

Originally Posted By: Tom
By "deep exegesis" do you mean more than simply linguistic considerations?
I agree with this, if "deep exegesis" includes an understanding of historical and cultural considerations.

As stated above, "Yes"; and that by unalienable necessity.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Or our paradigm. I think that's a more likely cause, or, better stated, a more "pregnant" cause. What I mean is that having a wrong paradigm can lead to errors that are real "whoppers," whereas if our paradigm is correct, the errors we have will be of lesser import. For example, the paradigm of some who lived in Christ's day led them to crucify Him.

As I stated before, our paradigm can and should be anchored down by proper exegesis, otherwise it is just purely a “philosophical” approach to understanding Scripture and not an exegetical one through proper hermeneutics. As Jesus repeteadly told the people who opposed him and later crucified him: ‘they were in error in their knowledge of the Bible. Indeed this was mainly through a selective approach to Scripture, emphasizing some parts while outrightly ignoring or lightly regarding pertinent others. I see that this is also the main reason for our difference here. I.e., not giving the rightful, foundational place of passages like Gen 2:17b; 3:22-24 (PP 60.3).

Originally Posted By: Tom
You didn't answer my questions. They were two. I'll restate them.

I actually had answered them, at least implicitly, however I’ll give you a more explicit, though succinct answer here, given that I have already addressed this issue.

Originally Posted By: Tom
1.Do you believe that Ellen White's writings are not inerrant, whereas Scripture is?

You just addressed the first part, regarding Ellen White. You've implied you believe Scripture is inerrant, but haven't explicitly stated so. What I'm getting at is you appear to believe that Ellen White's writings have errors in them, whereas there are no errors in Scripture. I want to know if this is correctly stating your belief.

Summarily short: Yes.

Originally Posted By: Tom
2.How is it possible that the Bible writers were not greatly dependent upon some of the things they understood?

They were. However their understanding was culturally and Theologically “more pure” to start with as a base, than EGW’s, especially stemming from her culturally and time removed context along with a Catholic/Protestant “Babylonian” background. She, factually, personally had much, much more to both learn and unlearn than those Bible writers.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This doesn't mean, of course, that of necessity your idea is false, but simply it is an idea original to yourself. You may dispute this by citing someone who has written that sin without the Cross = Death by no tree of life. I don't mind being wrong here, by the way, as I like learning new things. Simply quote for me someone who has expressed this idea. I don't mean word for word, but simply the idea in a general sense. I don't believe anyone considering the cross would have the idea that from it one sees that death comes about as a result of not having access to the tree of life.
If you'll notice what I said, I said this doesn't mean what you believe isn't true, but that it's original to yourself, which substantiates my point that one (with the singular exception of yourself) considering the cross would not have the idea that not partaking of the tree of life is what causes one's death.
Here's my assertion: You hold a view regarding the cross that no one else holds.

Please either disprove my assertion by citing someone other than yourself who holds the view you hold, or concur with my assertion.

I can search through many commentaries, however, given the fact that this is a view that is was seen from a much deeper Biblical exegesis study along with supporting SOP statements, I do not see a need to go further than the SDABC (which also uses the SOP) and the more exegetical Word Biblical Commentary. Actually not at all surprising to me, given my observedly known deficiency of these two works, I do not find this view expressed there. I suspect this will be the same for other commentaries, which I tangibly understand to be variously inferior to these works. Nonetheless, since my views is based on sound exegesis along with the SOP, I do not mind standing alone here, as with many other such views that others have not seen also out of shoddy and deficient exegesis. I really do not see how this is a problem with you since you should be able to verify such an exegetical finding. The reason why you do not see this is evidently because, at the very least, you do not see these passage as either contributive or foundational to this issue instead preferring to “sentimentally” see things through the Cross. However as I have shown before, the cross was an intermediatary Plan B on this issue of how created man was to have perpetual life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Not popular consensus, but any consensus! I'm just asking you to cite ONE person (other than yourself), that has the view you are espousing.

Already addressed that issue but/and I am asking you to first enter into an exegetical study of these key text.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If there's only one person in all recorded history that has a given view, it should be easy to see why such a view should be treated prudently. Why should I think you alone have the correct view in regards to the cross? I'm just asking for one other "voter" besides yourself.

Simply said here, because it is based on proper exegesis which you should be competent in doing. I know that it may be new/implausible/impossible to you that, pointedly here, I would be the lone right person here, but as the studies posted on my blog show, where many of such scholarly errors and misunderstanding are transparently addressed and corrected, that is not so “unfeasible”/impossible to me.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Where does God Himself in the Bible say that when one considers the cross, the lesson is that one will die if one does not partake of the tree of life? Let's keep in mind that what we're discussing here is the assertion that when one considers the cross, one comes to the conviction that the sure result of sin is death.

Gen 2:17b; 3:22-24 (PP 60.3) - Your “assertion” without these statements is just mere assumption and partial understanding.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I think you've gone away from what I was asking you about. Ellen White wrote that considering the cross brings the conviction that the sure result of sin is death. I said that no one considering the cross would conclude that the sure result of sin is death because of being denied access to the Tree of Life. You disputed this. So I asked you to cite someone, other than yourself, who holds this view.

I understand EGW statement to mean that since Jesus Himself, God the Son died despite having lived a sinless life, one indeed cannot look at what happened at the cross and not see and understand that sin will surely end up in death. God, who was most reluctant to go through with this (EW 149-153), clearly had no other option than this death. So it is in that sense of inevitability that I understand her statements and not that sin directly causes death since Gen 3:22-24 clearly states that sinful man could have lived forever if they continued to have access to the Tree of Life.... Really Tom, what is so hard to plainly understand here?? You are just letting your “spiritualizing” view do away with the plain reading of Scripture, something EGW counsels against doing. E.g.:

Originally Posted By: SOP (1SM 170.2)
We must be careful lest we misinterpret the Scriptures. The plain teachings of the Word of God are not to be so spiritualized that the reality is lost sight of. Do not overstrain the meaning of sentences in the Bible in an effort to bring forth something odd in order to please the fancy. Take the Scriptures as they read. -- Manuscript 30, 1904.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I've been speaking dying eternally throughout our discussion. I've made this clear by such expressions as "the second death," and quoted from passages which were discussing this.

Still the Tree of Life is what allows one to live eternally. Christ’s redemption makes it possible to avoid coming under the sentence of the Second Death, which is not a natural death either in its actualization (i.e., living for a while in Hell fire) nor in terms of time (the resurrected wicked could probably live on for much longer than they will when God forcefully takes hold of them and throws them in the Lake of Fire.) So while Christ’s makes avoidance of this second death possible, it is tangibly effectuate in redeemed and still mortal (i.e., not immortal) men through eating of the Tree of Life. For fallen but then redeemed man, access to this (perpetuating) life is only possible through Christ’s redemptive work. (cf. Rev 2:8).

Your strict and limited view is moreoverly improper because it totally makes void those Genesis and SOP statements whereas mine harmonizes them all without this arbitrary and subjective selectiveness. That is what proper exegesis is to result in. Tellingly enough, I also see the same selectiveness on teachings such as the State of the Dead, Hell, God and the Future, the Sabbath, etc both by SDA and non-SDA’s so that they, think, their doctrines can be upheld. However God’s Spirit will not need nor result in such arbitrary and contradicting dichotomies.

Originally Posted By: Tom
How about Jesus Christ? What did He mean when He said that whosoever believes in Him should not die but have life eternal? Is Jesus Christ not important in this conversation?

There is really not conflicting/irreconcilable issue here since believing in Christ and accepting what he did in faith is indeed what restores fallen man to the right to the Tree fo life he had prior to the fall. (Cf. Rev 2:8). There is no slighting at all of Christ or His words here. In fact, the fact that Jesus was so emphatic on this direct correlation, indeed not mentioning the tree of life process, was because if man did not full have faith in Him, indeed solely in Him and not in the tree, per se, this eternal life would never be possible. Just like, as in my example before, the cash deficient prospective buyer cannot afford the house he wants without a loan from the bank (of course that illustration excludes possible private loans and/or gifts from other people, but the most likely, ready and most capable source is the bank mortgage loan, just like Christ is truly the only Way back to this life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Our physical death has nothing to do with whether or not we sin or ask forgiveness. We physically die for the same reason insects and other living beings on earth die.

It seems to me that you are grossly contradicting you view here that sin = death, seemingly throwing it under the bus for some reason here? How then does ‘our physical death have nothing to do with whether or not we sin or ask forgiveness”??

And also: How/Why do “We physically die for the same reason insects and other living beings on earth die.” I.e what is that “reason?”

From what I read and understand in the Bible and SOP man was always subject to death and this was allowed to be inevitable end when the Tree of Life was remove. (I deduced that a similar life perpetuating element/ingredient was removed from nature causing other created/alive things to die).

Originally Posted By: Tom
We do not actually breathe, since at some point our lungs fail, or some other vital body part and we stop breathing? This doesn't make any sense. Of course we actually breathe. We actually breathe until we stop breathing.

That was actually a typo. I meant to say that your analogy comparing breathing to eternal life was not fitting since we do not/cannot live for ever merely by breathing since our vital organ, even beyond the lungs, need to continue to function properly so that we can breathe. So to live forever one would need to have all of these vital organs to continue working perfectly and not merely force themselves to breathe. So, as I went on to say, the key is organ vitality and this was ensured by the restoring power in the Fruits of the Tree of Life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The analogy is that if we don't breathe, we die. God created us in such a way that we need to breath in order to live. That doesn't mean that the theological problem of death (the second death) in a physical one.

That is exactly why I objected to your analogy here using breathing. That is a straw man approach. Death is a physical problem because or vital organ will degenerate if not restored by the tree of life. And it was in order to prevent this physical possibility by sinful man that God barred access to the Tree of Life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
You're using an argument similar to this one. You're saying that if Adam and Eve died because they were denied access to the Tree of Life, so therefore death (the second death) is a physical problem, related to whether or not one has access to the Tree of Life. I'm saying that the issue of eternal life and eternal death is a spiritual one, depending upon whether or not they have faith in Christ.

I previously address the issue of the Second Death here and then here indeed do see that it tangibly, ultimately is a physical matter. That death will end up being as the first one was, a consciousless state (i.e., not felt “separation” from God) The spiritual aspects of it are in having faith in Jesus Christ so that our sins can be forgiven and thus this death will not “hurt” nor have “authority” over us (Rev 2:11; 20:6).

Originally Posted By: Tom
I'm saying that just as you are that eternal death is a physical issue because Adam and Eve died because they did not have access to the Tree of Life, so one could argue that eternal death is a physical issue because if one did not have access to air, one would die.

You’ll need to use another element than breathing for the reasons cited above which indeed make it incongruous as an analogy and thus a straw man argument.


Ironically enough notice this SOP statement:

Originally Posted By: SOP (PP 62.3)
Then [in ‘Eden restored in the New Heavens and New Earth’] they that have kept God's commandments shall breathe in immortal vigor beneath the tree of life;

We in heaven may not even have to eat of the Tree of Life but “breathe it in” which makes logistical sense vs. the only 2 people who had to do this in Eden. This aromatic way may also be the way that nature was perpetually preserved in the Garden of Eden itself. And since Adam and Eve, and probably all other created things were immediately expelled from Eden (cf. PP 61.4ff) yet Eden remained in its original beauty while the rest of nature/creation gradually degenerated and died. This healing aroma for nature may have then been limited to the area of the Garden itself after the Fall. Adam and Eve may have been required to physically eat of this fruit then as both an object lesson and to directly counter the fact that they had to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil in order to fall. So that “excusing”/self-justifying tasting temptation would have been taken away here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The Tree of Life (and breathing) are means to teach us of our dependence upon God for life. I'm not denying that the Tree of Life has healthful benefits (as does breathing), but am pointing out that the real significant thing is that *God* is life, and is the source of life, and we have life by virtue of being united to Him, which the Tree of Life was meant to teach.

Well that is not at all what I am “plainly reading” in Gen 3:22-24. Would fallen Adam and Eve live forever simply by restoring this claimed ‘object-lesson’ which would be done by merely eating of the Tree??? Such illogical and depleting, distorting spiritualization of straightforward Scripture is indeed indicative to me of a false view. It reminds me of the popular and copious spurious “allegorical” works of the early Church Fathers vs. exegetical ones which greatly help to plunge the Church into confusion and, actually, spiritual darkness.

Originally Posted By: Tom
"One could say" is not subjective. It indicates that something could be said in another way. It has nothing to do with subjectivity.

Well one would still prefer to say “unbelief” out of a subjective reason since this term is not synonymous with “selfish”. That would also be a theological subjectivity here that would make this association. Unbelief has nothing to do with a “love of self” E.g., I can believe that God will do something, but out of a more important to me “love of self” I can choose to follow my own course. So I really would not be “believing God” but rather ‘loving myself more than Him.’

Originally Posted By: Tom
The point is that sin is based on principles which are not conducive to life.

Though surfacely seemingly sound and reasonable, my deeper exegetical view does not see this so shallowly because the Bible states that sinful man could have lived forever. So it is rather that ‘sin is not conducive to an “abundant” life (John 10:10) rather than a perpetuating life where e.g., hatred, jealousy, strife, lying, etc are allowed to also reign supreme and that without a consequence of death as it would have been the case if fallen man had access to the tree.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This doesn't address the issue that the principles of sin are not conducive to life. Or maybe it does indirectly, if your point is that it doesn't matter if you sin or not, as long as you have access to the Tree of Life. You could sin as much as you wanted, and you would never die. I guess that's your idea.

That’s not “my idea”... far from it, that is rather what the Bible clearly states (Gen 3:22-24 & PP 60.3) and until I carefully studied this out in the Bible and SOP and allowed these inspired texts to speak for themselves, I did not see or understand that possibility.

Originally Posted By: Tom
So you could be totally separated from God, and not die, as long as you're not separated from the tree.

Unfortunately. Yes. Indeed just as a fully knowing God thought and was afraid of this coming to pass. You do not have an issue with me, as you have been stating, but with what the Bible says. (Perhaps that will remove the apparent mental block that is preventing you from plainly reading and understanding these statements!?) That is why I have been challenging you to disprove this by addressing those Bible and SOP passages head on and not plastering them over with your independently understood “spiritual” view.

Originally Posted By: Tom
What about the rest of Scripture? Should I quote some texts which state that life is the fruit of faith, of obedience?

You may however, under proper exegesis, these will/would not be in complete ignorance of the theological, physical reality expressed in Gen 3:22-24. The Spirit of God does not contradict itself so, like any doctrinal study, all the texts which speak on this issue, must be brought into the ‘threading harmony.’ (=EGW’s “Golden Thread” 1SM 20.1).

Originally Posted By: Tom
Life is not only a physical thing. Eternal life involves more than physically living forever.

That is really an expression of your view. The Bible is clear that perpetual life is possible through merely eating of the tree of life, by even sinful man. You’ll need to disprove that truth first.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Why do other living beings on earth die? Will they not live forever in the new earth? Will they need access to the Tree of Life?

I have addressed that above in the PP 62.4 statement.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The life we have by connected to Christ is eternal life, not (merely) physical life.

Eternal Life is a physical reality. Sinless life and the “abundance of life” i.e., optimal quality of life is what we obtain through remaining obedient and faithful to God’s will.

The connection to Christ here is dealing with what will be needed to bear fruits. Contextually, the entire chapter of John 15, spoken in the Upper Room as part of Christ’s instruction to those twelve who would now have to continue his work with him about to be taken away from them, was pointedly telling them here what they needed to do in order to be successful/fruitful in this mission. So the therefore had to (1) spiritually remaining connected to Him (15:1-11); (2) being and remaining in perfect unity with each other (15:12-17); How to properly relate to the world and beneficially keep it in proper perspective (15:18-25); the aiding and assisting work of the coming Holy Spirit (15:26-16:15). Now where in this mission instructional section does the word “life” (Greek: zoe #2222) does not occur a single time. (The (translational) mention of “life” in John 15:13 is actually the Greek word “psyche” (#5590) which spoke of the type/wider extent that Christ was soon going to undergo in sufferings (cf. this post). So saying that Jesus was speaking on how to have “eternal life” in John 15:1-11 is, as further seen here, indeed a “proof-texting” claim and approach.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Originally Posted By: SOP

Now that we are branches of the Living Vine we will be nourished by the sap that flows from the Vine. It flows all the time to every branch, and every branch will bear fruit to the glory of God. "It is your Father's good pleasure" "that ye bear much fruit." Well then, what is our position? It must be a position of living faith. {FW 65.2}...

You may be united to the Living Vine. Every member of your whole being may be united to that Vine, and the sap and nourishment that come from the Vine will nourish the branch that is in the Vine, until you are one with Christ as He was one with the Father. Thus His blessings will be imparted to you. But brethren, we have not had faith. We have dishonored God by unbelief long enough. {FW 66.5}

In those SOP statement EGW also does not speak of “eternal life”. Physical Life is not the focus of her comments here but fruit bearing life (i.e., during Gospel Work) which indeed chiefly requires a persistent faith in Christ to have, and maintain this spiritual connection.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Here's an example from the first Commentary I happened to run across:

Originally Posted By: (unknown commentary)
Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life.

That commentary also does not see this as a reference to ‘eternal life’ but to fruit-bearing.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Isn't it evident that a lesson from the parable is that we receive life from Christ?

Straightly said, due to my above comments... Not at all. Only eisogesis forces such an understanding and conclusion into the text.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This thought is all over the Gospel of John. Also in his first epistle. Do you disagree?

That is “No” to your ‘eisogetically imposed thought’ and also, since the thought of that Gospel Mission Instructional statement is actually “fruit-bearing”, I do not see such instruction in the rest of the Gospel of John. (The word “life” (zoe) occurs 32 times in the Gospel of John, but not once in this specific section).
Interestingly enough John does reecho many of the actual themes found in this Instructional section his first epistle. (Probably realizing that his time to depart may be near, so yes for that question based upon the accurate understanding of the themes here.) Also his “life” theme there is entirely different from any notion in this specific section in his Gospel.

I do not mean to be rude here at all, but I have very low tolerance for shoddy exegesis with such answers from especially people who have had Seminary level education. I don’t mind “cleaning up” a lay person’s accidental mess, but in regards to seminarians, this really feels like babysitting teenagers. Nothing personal here. Just a little encouragement to properly apply the knowledge and/or training to exact accurate knowledge that you supposedly and/or should received at the Seminary.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #131373
03/03/11 04:49 AM
03/03/11 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: kland
Originally Posted By: NJK Project

Originally Posted By: kland
If something is so clear and obvious, why should there be a need to dig diligently? And isn't that what we are instructed to do?

I judiciously reserve my clear statement for points that I do, at least personally, consider to be clear. So claiming that I am wrong in such cases, will have to be done substantively and not by merely addressing the use of “clear” in a statement. So where exegetically-based points prove something to be clear, I accordingly explicitly say so.

It sounds like you are saying what I attempted to say, that is, things can only be clear to you personally and does not mean the same thing is clear to others nor does it make it correct nor should that "clearness" be urged upon others.

And speaking of correctness, if I understood you correctly, I do believe you are incorrect about Saul.

Solely for the sake of my time, I am just going to ignore this budding, quibbling, peripheral “clear-statements” side-issue, though, for the reasons I have stated you will surely encounter it again in my statements. As I said, if you find that something I have said is not “clear” to you or incorrect, then at least to substantively address the issue with a question or comment, respectively.

Case in point, in regards to Saul’s pre-time death (Eccl 7:17), what do you find “incorrect” from what I had stated??

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131380
03/03/11 10:14 AM
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Tom, since you were looking for “any consensus” I have just received an “thanking” and approving Personal Message for: “present[ing] Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:22-24 just as it says”. Also asking “Why is this so hard to accept?” (Your Character of God contributions are “appreciated”). How’s that for your “any consensus”??

That user also found the following great SOP quote on the Tree of Life in Medical Ministry:

Originally Posted By: SOP MM 233.5
The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #131381
03/03/11 03:19 PM
03/03/11 03:19 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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PS - For years I have presented on this forum the fact immortal life is dependent upon us regularly eating the fruit of the tree of life. The first death is the result of God denying us access to the fruit of the tree of life. Even sinners, if allowed access, could "eat and live forever." However, the fruit does not prevent the first death in cases involving mortal wounds such as decapitation.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #131388
03/03/11 08:57 PM
03/03/11 08:57 PM
kland  Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Case in point, in regards to Saul’s pre-time death (Eccl 7:17), what do you find “incorrect” from what I had stated??
The way I understood you is that you said God killed Saul. How did Saul die?

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #131390
03/03/11 09:37 PM
03/03/11 09:37 PM
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Interesting Mountain Man. Where have you been during all this prolonged sub-discussion. It could have saved us a lot of “digital ink”. I would like to read your prior statement/discussion on this.

I would be interested to hear your view on Gen 2:17b which the Hebrew Syntax (literally) states that ‘Man was naturally always subject to death and it was in this way (through non-access to the Tree) would, consequently, so naturally continue to die?

I agree with your mortal wound comment. I would venture to think that any non-natural wound, if through violence may be left to its own fate. I.e., the Fruit of Life was not a “surgeon”, though direct “doctoral” assistant by people could, as today, help bring such a wound to a state where the body can completely heal it through the “powers” of the Fruit of Life. I think this because with God knowing the powers of the Tree and also the possibility of Man to Fall and live forever, He may have made it so that “violence” (cf. Gen 6:11, 13) inflicted wounds, and that by two causeless/senseless willing belligerent, were not healed by the Tree of Life. In the case of an accidental wound, or even a wound received by a righteous person (from e.g, a perpetually living sinner), God could however intervene either directly or through indirect instruction, to patch up that wound.

In regards to the First v. Second Death, the only way that I see the Second being different than the First is in how it will be brought about (by a similar “unusual/strange task, and [i]foreign[\i] work” of God - cf. Isa 28:21) and in its process (sinner surviving for an extended period of time in the Lake of Fire). It is also around this time, when these sinners will be surrounding the city that that God will ‘break/destroy the “psyche”’ (=Matt 10:28) of resolute opposition and hatred of God of the wicked and they will most sincerely acknowledge the Wisdom and Authority of God (Rom 14:11 (=Isa 45:23); Phil 2:10). So it is here that I see that a deep sense of a Separation from God and its result will be felt by these wicked, leading them to their confessing acknowledgement. (cf. GC 662-673). Other than that, I see that the Second Death, when eventually completed, will not be different than the First in this oblivious/unconscious state and effect.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #131391
03/03/11 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: kland
The way I understood you is that you said God killed Saul. How did Saul die?

Oh.. Now I see your objection. Like usual, and also with such Theological issues, one has to Theologically think/study this one through. (1 Sam 28/PP 675-682ff). Succinctly said here, from what I understand about ”God and the Future” among other pertinent Theological factors here, the “Samuel” that appeared to Saul could have been a God-approved, “lying spirit” actually sent to Saul. However since that superhuman (= “elohim” 1 Sam 28:13) spirit(s) was most convincingly (i.e., through a Samuel imitation) cautioning Saul against a possible/probable death, and given that Saul was, now for a long time, a terrible, inefficient and “lame-duck” king who was prevented God’s Israel to advance, I rather believe that this was indeed an evil Spirit, acting on its own, and trying to preserve the life of Saul so that he can continue his detrimental reign. With David having been anointed since ca. year 25 of Saul’s (40-year) reign, and since God easily could have easily non-naturally killed Saul long before that to effectuate this succession, but did not allowing Saul to live out his reign, probably as an object-lesson to Israel and also to the young David, this Spirit was then allowed to make this cautionary statement, though out of an nefarious motive of prolonging this reign. Nonetheless probably seeing/sensing that God could be planning to (“seamlessly”) allow Saul and his sons (thus no challenging regnal succession possible) to be killed the next day in the war, with the time for his succession having arrived, that evil spirit could also have been desperately trying to prevent this. So what that witch saw/made to appear and the prediction of the death tomorrow was actually not a view of the future, but just what God was (even most likely) “planning to do” (cf. Isa 46:9-11). It however was for the capital sin of consulting a medium, that was indeed to be punished by death, that Saul was killed. Even the simple fact that, with Saul preparing to go to war the next day and here committing this capital sin, these evil spirits saw that Saul’s death was thus inevitable and sought to keep him from going of to war the next day as it is then that this death penalty could be executed.

So for any of these possible scenarios:

-God “planning” Saul’s death the next day on that Battlefield to effectuate the transition to David
-Capital punishment for this sin of consulting a witch

even a combination of the two, I see that God, who easily could have protected Saul, allowed, even pointed made, him and his sons to be killed in that battle. I.e., his premature death was Divinely planned (= execution) and not a normal course of events development.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #131392
03/03/11 10:52 PM
03/03/11 10:52 PM
Tom  Offline
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Haven't had time to read all this. Thanks for the time to respond. I'll look as I have time, but just a quick thing.

Tom, since you were looking for “any consensus” I have just received an “thanking” and approving Personal Message for: “present[ing] Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:22-24 just as it says”. Also asking “Why is this so hard to accept?” (Your Character of God contributions are “appreciated”). How’s that for your “any consensus”??

That user also found the following great SOP quote on the Tree of Life in Medical Ministry:

Originally Posted By: SOP MM 233.5
The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality.

Regarding this post, this is missing the point. Perhaps you covered it elsewhere, since, as I said, I haven't read everything, but my point was the EGW's statement was that by looking at the cross one comes to the conviction that the sure result of death is sin. I'm saying in the context of the cross, the tree of life would not be thought of.

Statements addressing this would need to consider both the cross and the Tree of Life.

Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131396
03/04/11 12:00 AM
03/04/11 12:00 AM
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I did address that in my previous reply, Tom. = ‘Even God had to die because of sin.’ (To pay for us the price of its imposed (Gen 3:22-24 - thus “non-organic”) death penalty, of course). Man, without the Tree of Life, was always subject to death. (Gen 2:17b).

As I also say: the tree of life function in this Sin=Death equation is an underlying procedural issue. One does not surfacely/readily see the tree of life when contemplating the cross, but it is still the “means” by which the committing of sin comes to result death.

It seems to me that you are categorically changing your previous objection here where you had been seeking to make this rightly stated EGW “perception” the full (Biblical) “reality”. The full reality is that death comes to all who sin from non-access to the Tree of life. However as I said in reply to Mountain Man’s comments death could also come to sinful men through violent acts. The Fruit of the Tree of Life may also not have been empowered to heal sin-derived fatal diseases such as Aids and e.g., cancer from smoking, etc. So in this sense God would have known that a sinful life would one way (No Tree of Life) or the other (fatal diseases/injuries) surely end up death for even a sinful person eating of the Tree of Life.

Last edited by NJK Project; 03/04/11 01:06 AM.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131398
03/04/11 12:08 AM
03/04/11 12:08 AM
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As some of the comments I made in my PM discussion with that user, in response to his, may be helpful in this discussion I have posted some of my (pertinent) comments on these points here.

-I can see what you are getting at with your subsequent comments on sin’s hereditary destructions, However I do have the following Bible/SOP based comments.

-First of all, the ‘other Tree” is pointedly called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As I understand it, prior to falling Adam and Eve did not have a knowledge of Evil, therefore they also did not really have a knowledge of Good per se, since they had nothing to contrast the “good” that they were doing with. That was Satan 90% Truthful lie. Because they would indeed then know evil. (Cf. Gen 3:22a). I believe that prior to the fall, God, like a trusted protective parent, had supernaturally prevented any evil from coming into the mind of Adam and Eve. The only way they could begin to receive this “knowledge” i.e, by then being subject to the thoughts of the Devil and evil angels, was when they, first wandered alone and then approached that tree clearly forbidden tree thus coming within the allowed range of influence of the Serpent/Devil. Still only when they went through with the sin by eating the fruit, probably, by God’s mercy more than just taking a single bit, thus showing in eating all of it that they really wanted to do this, though this, like any sin was much easier to do after that first bite/taste, then that thought-shield was removed, probably similar to their robe of light, and that probably only after Adam, who never spoke to the serpent, (as you also say) also ate. The it was fair game for the Devil upon the mind/psyche of Adam and Eve. So this is how I understand Adam to have begun to have a “knowledge of”, detrimentally, “evil.” and through such Satan could influence them to live the selfish and otherwise sinful life that He envisioned that God’s created beings should have a free right to decide live if they so chose. Indeed at that point he was just beginning exploring his view that God had allowed him to explore since he felt it was so much better, however outside of heaven. (See my blog post on the War in Heaven for more on this allowed development and the GC implication here).

-In regards to Romans 5:12 I understand it as sin entering through (generically speaking) one man and death by sin, however indirectly because man was no longer able to eat of the tree of life. And it is in this way that death is passed through all man, because, along the lines of what you later say, man, by not being able to renew their bodies, health and also genes, DNA, has been gradually passing on increasingly poorer and as you point out skewed/“code”-corrupt genes to their descendants. A poorer diet after the flood, now eating meat, also accelerated this degeneration. And that is a “spreading/passing/coming to all; upon (Gr. epi - and not “because”) those who have sinned”, as Paul literally said it in the Greek. So since all have sinned (Rom 3:23), this penalty ‘comes to all’. However I understand here that if someone had not sinned God would have to supernaturally protect them from this death penalty, by renewing their life. Even if this meant periodically, as they continued to live sinless, restoring their health, maybe by bringing them, through a (disguised) angel, and maybe without that person knowing/realizing it, a fruit from the Tree of Life which has been in Heaven since the flood. Or taking them to Heaven without dying as done with Enoch and Elijah though they themselves were probably not sinless. I have wondered why God kept the Garden on Earth for over 1700 years until just before the Flood (in ca. 2245 B.C.) and this may have been to allow it to be inhabited by worthy sinless people, i.e., people who live some time or much of their life without sinning. Who knows? No one however has been able to live a sinless life and that is thus why gradual degeneration, aging and death comes to all, - because no one has been able to eat of that perfection restoring Fruit of Life.

-I have done an exegetical analysis of David’s statement in Psa 51:5 in this forum post which absolutely fascinated me by what it revealed about David. You may find it most interesting and helpful to this discussion.

-Relatedly, I also do not see that sin itself as a “mental illness”, as you say, but it does comes to spiritually impair the mind from the perfect state that it was before the fall. Still any physical degeneration is probably because its constituency and membrane cannot be renewed to perfect health by the fruit of the tree of life.

-I think Gen 2:17b also says much on why man dies and that is evidently, as the Hebrew precisely says: ‘Man naturally dies’. From this I do not understand that man, not being immortal, was ever capable of living forever independent of the Fruit of Life, even if sinless. That is indeed why Adam and Eve along with the redeem in the future, had to and will have to periodically eat of this healing Tree. Our bodies are meant to degenerate and decay. So for this also, I do not see the eating of the banned fruit physically starting anything. Man would have naturally died anyway were it but for the tree of life. So when they sinned, that, through God’s barring of access to the Tree of Life, sealed their inherent, natural, “subjectivity” to death. I also see that Angels are also not immortal, however they may have been made up of a “better material” than dirt as humans are. So they may thus be able to live longer without a restoring fruit. Which may be an added reason why they were expelled from heaven, where those their may partake of this life perpetuating “fruit” just in the atmosphere. So these evil angels may be able to live for 10,000 years vs. man’s original ca. 1000 years.

-I believe from Gen 3:22-24 that the sinner would live in perfect health even as a sinner if he could eat of the Tree of Life. He may even be able to completely heal any harm done to the body such as brain cell losses through alcohol consumption and drug taking, smoking, STD’s etc. So that is why God was quick and forceful in making sure this could never be the case.

-I can see the medical contribution to this understanding, however I Biblically see the problem of death as solely being in the inability to eat from the fruit of life or otherwise partake of/intake its ‘death antidote supernatural virtue.’

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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