I try to avoid speculative theology, but perhaps what we have observed regarding the nature of Good and Evil may give us some idea as to why God would have placed the access to such knowledge within the reach of man, but then prohibited man from reaching out and acquiring it. Mankind in its ignorance and innocence thought that it could acquire the knowledge of God on its own terms and through its own will. Mankind took through disobedience that which one day, God would freely offer through His own Son and Spirit. God allowed humans to exercise their free will and in doing so made them culpable for their own choices and acts of disobedience. Mankind had tried to elevate itself to godhood through its own decisions and choices even at the expense of disobeying the Creator Himself. This disobedience robbed mankind of its innocence and made it morally culpable. Humans were created a little lower than the angels, but now instead of the knowledge of good and evil elevating us beyond the heavenly host, our moral failings would debase us below the realm of the beasts. God in His wisdom and foreknowledge was not surprised or taken aback from the foolishness of man; rather He had already provided a way of redemption and reconciliation before the foundation of the world. [cite this] God’s glory would be magnified through mans’ disobedience and the almighty would be exalted through mans’ fall.
In many ways it seems like humans without the knowledge of good and evil would have been much more like pets than autonomous moral free agents. You can teach a pet tricks and obedience through punishment and rewards, they may even show loyalty or affection, but in the end they are still pets, some well behaved and some not. With the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, humans are no longer content with punishments and rewards. We have lost the innocence and childhood of our race. Yes it is true that humans are full of self will, rebellion and all manner of disobedience, but we also ponder, question, judge and evaluate. We look for underlying motivations and seek first principles and causes. We evaluate and judge, others and ourselves. We create and destroy, love and hate, show justice and mercy, cruelty and compassion, we are jealous and competitive; we are truly made in the image of God. We are so much like God, in fact, that we have chosen are own values, standards, judgments and will, over that of the Almighty Himself. We have gone far beyond a simple act of disobedience, we have now made ourselves gods in our own eyes, some have gone as far as to deny any other God altogether and would prefer to invoke time and chance for our existence rather than being the creatures of a Creator.
The knowledge of good and evil did make us much more like God than we were before, and I would postulate that God fully knew that we would disobey Him and claim this knowledge for ourselves. God also knew the outcome of this choice and the horrific consequences it would bring on the human race, creation and even upon Himself. Yet, God in His wisdom and sovereignty allowed this human passion play to unfold. God created humans in innocence and perfection, humans chose to disobey God and take that which was not meet for them. The result was a loss of innocence, relationship and life, both physical and spiritual. Man in his fallen state was still in the image of God, but now armed with the knowledge of good and evil, and a radical free will, his thoughts and imaginings would bring about such wickedness and violence, that God would eventually wipe clean the creation itself, with the exception of those who were preserved in the ark.
Man’s initial act of rebellion would be the seedbed of all manner of evil in the world, both in the natural world and in the souls of man. Physical as well as spiritual sickness would abound, selfishness and pride, would replace submission and obedience, and man would seek his own betterment and perfection through his own efforts, rather than submit to the authority of the One who made him. God communicated His Holy standards through the Law and the Prophets, yet the prophets were despised and the law was neglected or perverted. God’s revealed standards were beyond the attainment of mortal men, and His expectations were crushing and unlivable. Man rebelled again, and set up his own standards of right and wrong, the good, better and best, pitting his own knowledge of good and evil against those of the One who created the very concept of good and evil to begin with.
How often have you heard people accuse God of moral failure, and judge the almighty because of the state of the world? How could a loving God send people to hell? If God exists, and evil exists, then God must be all good, but not all powerful, or all powerful, but not all good. If God is loving, merciful and compassionate, why do the innocent suffer? Why are there birth defects and debilitating diseases? Why do people kill and commit all manner of atrocities in God’s name? Why did God allow slavery and the subjugation of women? Why does God command genocide and the slaughter of children in the Bible? Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer? All of these are examples of man using his knowledge of good and evil to judge God based off of human understanding. From a human perspective and our limited base of knowledge, these are fair complaints and accusations. Yet, this is exactly the problem! We are making moral judgments in regards to good and evil based on human understanding. It is precisely, because we do not have the mind or knowledge of God, that our judgments will fall short, and come to the wrong conclusions.
There is a whole branch of philosophy/theology called theodicy. It is the exercise of providing a defense for the ways of God. It is an interesting study, and answers have been provided for all the above accusations and more. Yet whether one is attacking God or defending Him, it is still being done through human understanding, reason and experience. The theodicist is just as much relying on his own understanding of good and evil as the accuser. God rarely gives reasons for His actions, and in the few recorded instances of God responding to charges of inequity, He doesn’t explain why His actions are good or evil, but rather He proclaims who He is. The greatest example of God responding to accusations of injustice and unfairness can be found towards the end of the book of Job. Job was a righteous man who feared God. As the story goes, one day God was boasting to Satan about His servant Job. Satan quickly retorted that anyone would be a good and faithful servant if they were protected and blessed the way Job was. According to the Biblical account, God removed His protection from Job, save for his life, and allowed Satan to bring all manner of calamity upon him. After Job had lost all his family, except for his wife, and his great possessions, wealth and health, he is first comforted, and then accused by his closest friends. Based on human reason and understanding, Job’s friends surmised that Job must have committed some secret sin, for they were under the presupposition that the righteous prosper and the wicked suffer. Since Job was suffering, he obviously was wicked. Job based on his personal experience, knew he wasn’t wicked, and had no hidden sins, but could not explain why God’s blessing had been removed and his life was one of abject desolation. Job argued with his friends, but his real complaint was against God. Based on Job’s knowledge of good and evil, what had happened to him was unjust and unfair. Job wanted an audience with God where he could voice his complaints. It is in this context that God appears to confront Job. The encounter of God with Job is recorded in the 38th through 42nd chapters of the book of Job and I would encourage you to read it in its entirety, but I will give you the highlights.
Job 38:1-5 KJV
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 15. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s=O&utm_expid=13466113-5&search=Job%2038&version=KJV&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.biblegateway.com%2F)
God goes on to ask Job a series of questions Job could not possibly know the answer to. This series of questions continues all the way to Job chapter 40.
Job 40:1-8 KJV
Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,
2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job admits his mistake when realizes that his judgments are vial and have no merit when compared to the judgments, power and authority of God. God, however, is not finished, and pronounces the whole issue with precision and clarity. “Will you condemn me, so you can be righteous?” This is the entire history of human morality and railings against the creator, from Eden until now. We the creature, want to accuse the creator, based on our understanding of good and evil, so that God will be condemned and we will be justified. God at this point is not satisfied with Job’s contrition and gives him another two chapters of questions that Job can’t answer, and demonstrations of His power, which help Job truly understand his place in relation to the creator of the universe.
Job 42:1-6 KJV
Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job acknowledges his ignorance, and declares God’s righteousness, based on the character, nature and power of God. Job abases himself and exalts the Creator, repenting in dust and ashes. At this point God restores Job, along with his wealth, health and new children, but as far as we know, God never gives Job a reason for the trials and suffering that came his way. God did not tell Job I was trying to prove a point to Satan, or I’m going to use your life as an object lesson to teach others about my greatness or glory, or I’m doing this to show that sometimes the righteous suffer, but God is still in control. God didn’t tell Job any of these things, rather He basically said, I’m God and you’re not.
After looking at this account of Job, you may be thinking to yourself, this is the most horrific, immoral story I have ever heard. Because of God’s ego and boasting, Job ends up suffering and being tormented. When Job wants to know why all this is happening to him, God berates and belittles him instead of giving him comfort. The lessons of this story seem to be more along the lines of do not be over righteous or God might bet on you, or that God is a cosmic tyrant that does what He wants when He wants, and do not dare question His intentions, method or authority. Once again, from a human perspective, these are completely valid conclusions to the story of Job, but once again, this is precisely the problem. We, like Job, are using our internal moral compass and template of good and evil, to judge the One who is beyond good and evil. [explain this?] The whole point of the book of Job is that God is God and we are not. We cannot even begin to think that our limited knowledge and wisdom can allow us to judge a Being whose knowledge and wisdom is infinite, absolute, and perfect. Until we come to the place of realization like Job, of who we are and who God is, like Job, we will try and justify ourselves by condemning the almighty.
Let me give you one more example of why our judgment of good and evil is lacking before we move on to other topics. This example I first saw while reading Voltaire, but it can also be found in many folk tales and stories from the Middle East.
From the French of Voltaire.
IN the reign of King Moabdar there lived at Babylon a young man named Zadig. He was handsome, rich and naturally good-hearted; and at the moment when this story opens, he was travelling on foot to see the world, and to learn philosophy and wisdom. But, hitherto, he had encountered so much misery, and endured so many terrible disasters, that he had become tempted to rebel against the will of Heaven, and to believe that the Providence which rules the world neglects the good and lets the evil prosper. In this unhappy spirit he was one day walking on the banks of the Euphrates, when he chanced to meet a venerable hermit, whose snowy beard descended to his girdle, and who carried in his hand a scroll which he was reading with attention. Zadig stopped, and made him a low bow. The hermit returned the salutation with an air so kindly, and so noble, that Zadig felt a curiosity to speak to him. He inquired what scroll was that which he was reading.
“It is the Book of Destiny,” replied the hermit; “would you like to read it?”
He handed it to Zadig; but the latter, though he knew 86 a dozen languages, could not understand a word of it. His curiosity increased.
“You appear to be in trouble,” said the kindly hermit.
“Alas!” said Zadig, “I have cause to be so.”
“If you will allow me,” said the hermit, “I will accompany you. Perhaps I may be useful to you. I am sometimes able to console the sorrowful.”
Zadig felt a deep respect for the appearance, the white beard, and the mysterious scroll of the old hermit, and perceived that his conversation was that of a superior mind. The old man spoke of destiny, of justice, of morality, of 87 the chief good of life, of human frailty, of virtue, and of vice, with so much power and eloquence, that Zadig felt himself attracted by a kind of charm, and besought the hermit not to leave him until they should return to Babylon.
“I ask you the same favour,” said the hermit. “Promise 88 me that, whatever I may do, you will keep me company for several days.
Zadig gave the promise; and they set forth together.
That night the travellers arrived at a grand mansion. The hermit begged for food and lodging for himself and his companion. The porter, who might have been mistaken for a prince, ushered them in with a contemptuous air of welcome. The chief servant showed them the magnificent apartments; and they were then admitted to the bottom of the table, where the master of the mansion did not condescend to cast a glance at them. They were however, served with delicacies in profusion, and after dinner washed their hands in a golden basin set with emeralds and rubies. They were then conducted for the night into a beautiful apartment: and the next morning, before they left the castle, a servant brought them each a piece of gold.
“The master of the house,” said Zadig, as they went their way, “appears to be a generous man, although a trifle haughty. He practises a noble hospitality.” As he spoke, he perceived that a kind of large pouch which the hermit carried appeared singularly distended; within it was the golden basin, set with precious stones, which the old man had purloined. Zadig was amazed; but he said nothing.
At noon the hermit stopped before a little house, in which lived a wealthy miser, and once more asked for hospitality. An old valet in a shabby coat received them very rudely, showed them into the stable, and set before them a few rotten olives, some mouldy bread, and beer which had turned sour. The hermit ate and drank with as much content as he had shown the night before; then, 89 addressing the old valet, who had kept his eye upon them to make sure that they stole nothing, he gave him the two gold pieces which they had received that morning, and thanked him for his kind attention. “Be so good,” he added, “as to let me see your master.”
The astonished valet showed them in.
“Most mighty signor,” said the hermit, “I can only render you my humble thanks for the noble manner in which you have received us. I beseech you to accept this golden basin as a token of my gratitude.”
The miser almost fell backwards with amazement. The hermit, without waiting for him to recover, set off with speed with his companion.
“Holy Father,” said Zadig, “what does all this mean? You seem to me to resemble other men in nothing. You steal a golden basin set with jewels from a Signor who 90 receives you with magnificence, and you give it to a curmudgeon who treats you with indignity.”
“My son,” replied the hermit, “this mighty lord, who only welcomes travellers through vanity, and to display his riches, will henceforth grow wiser, while the miser will be taught to practise hospitality. Be amazed at nothing, and follow me.”
Zadig knew not whether he was dealing with the most foolish or the wisest of all men. But the hermit spoke with such ascendency that Zadig, who besides was fettered by his promise, had no choice except to follow him.
That night they came to an agreeable house, of simple aspect, and showing signs neither of prodigality nor avarice. The owner was a philosopher, who had left the world, and who studied peacefully the rules of virtue and of wisdom, and who yet was happy and contented. He had built this calm retreat to please himself, and he received the strangers in it with a frankness which displayed no sign of ostentation. He conducted them himself to a comfortable chamber, where he made them rest awhile; then he returned to lead them to a dainty little supper. During their conversation they agreed that the affairs of this world are not always regulated by the opinions of the wisest men. But the hermit still maintained that the ways of Providence are wrapt in mystery, and that men do wrong to pass judgment on a universe of which they only see the smallest part. Zadig wondered how a person who committed such mad acts could reason so correctly.
At length, after a conversation as agreeable as instructive, the host conducted the two travellers to their apartment, and thanked Heaven for sending him two visitors so wise 91 and virtuous. He offered them some money, but so frankly that they could not feel offended. The old man declined, and desired to say farewell, as he intended to depart for Babylon at break of day. They therefore parted on the warmest terms, and Zadig, above all, was filled with kindly feelings towards so amiable a man.
When the hermit and himself were in their chamber, they spent some time in praises of their host. At break of day the old man woke his comrade.
“We must be going,” he remarked. “But while everyone is still asleep, I wish to leave this worthy man a pledge of my esteem.” With these words he took a torch and set the house on fire.
Zadig burst forth into cries of horror, and would have stopped the frightful act. But the hermit, by superior 92 strength, drew him away. The house was in a blaze; and the old man, who was now a good way off with his companion, looked back calmly at the burning pile.
“Heaven be praised!” he cried, “our kind host’s house is destroyed from top to bottom.”
At these words Zadig knew not whether he should burst out laughing, call the reverend father an old rascal, knock him down, or run away. But he did neither. Still subdued by the superior manner of the hermit, he followed him against his will to their next lodging.
This was the dwelling of a good and charitable widow, who had a nephew of fourteen, her only hope and joy. She did her best to use the travellers well; and the next morning she bade her nephew guide them safely past a certain bridge, which, having recently been broken, had become dangerous to cross over. The youth, eager to oblige them, led the way.
“Come,” said the hermit, when they were half across the bridge, “I must show my gratitude towards your aunt;” and as he spoke he seized the young man by the hair and threw him into the river. The youth fell, reappeared for an instant on the surface, and then was swallowed by the torrent.
“Oh, monster!” exclaimed Zadig, “oh, most detestable of men ——”
“You promised me more patience,” interrupted the old man. “Listen! Beneath the ruins of that house which Providence saw fit to set on fire, the owner will discover an enormous treasure; while this young man, whose existence Providence cut short, would have killed his aunt within a year, and you yourself in two.”
“Who told you so, barbarian?” cried Zadig; “and even if you read the issue in your Book of Destiny, who gave you power to drown a youth who never injured you?”
While he spoke, he saw that the old man had a beard no longer, and that his face had become fair and young; his hermit’s frock had disappeared; four white wings covered his majestic form, and shone with dazzling lustre.
“Angel of heaven,” cried Zadig, “you are then descended from the skies to teach an erring mortal to submit to the eternal laws.”
“Men,” replied the angel Jezrael, “judge all things without knowledge; and you, of all men, most deserved to be enlightened. The world imagines that the youth who has just perished fell by chance into the water, and that by a like chance the rich man’s house was set on fire. But there is no such thing as chance; all is trial, or punishment, or foresight. Feeble mortal, cease to argue and rebel against what you ought to adore!”
As he spoke these words the angel took his flight to heaven. And Zadig fell upon his knees.
This story by Voltaire has a similar theme as the book of Job. Humans judge by appearance and limited knowledge whereas God judges with true judgment. This type of thinking is not appealing to the mind of man, for it removes us from our own exalted idea of ourselves and as the standard setters of what is true and what is not. To acknowledge that we do not know all things and that we are not self caused or self sufficient removes us from a place of honor, knowledge and power. It relegates us to creature hood rather than a place of divinity, and we are left with scrapes of carnal knowledge rather than the fulfillment of spiritual enlightenment.
Ecclesiastes 3:10-22 KJV
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
So, why did God place the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden? And prohibit humans from eating of its fruit when He knew full well they would. The short answer to this question is to maximize His Glory. The long answer is that by providing humans with a choice, they became culpable for their own actions. By choosing self interest over divine authority, we set ourselves in opposition to the commands of God, His standards and His will. The history of humanity, since the fall, has been one of man striving to regain that which was lost and through self improvement or self control to live up to the standard of good and evil that has been branded upon its very soul. This is exactly what Ethics and Religion are all about. Ethics deals with trying to understand correct judgment and the right way to live. Religion is an organized and systemized attempt to reconnect with the divine. Yet, all ethical systems and religious solutions fall short, for we are not in an epistemic position (place of knowledge) where we can know what is true, and we do not have the moral fortitude to live up to it even if we did. Religion fails for the same reasons that ethics and morality do. We have made God in our own image and we try to come to God based on human knowledge and experience. We describe and define God, but in doing so, bring Him down to the limitations of man. This struggle to do what is good and to avoid the evil, along with our existential angst over our sense of loss and disconnection can lead to self righteousness, or self condemnation. The self righteous pit their own knowledge of good and evil and their ability to live out an ethical life, against the standard and values of the creator. The self condemned realize that they either do not know what is the ultimate good or evil, and that even if they did there is no way they could live up to such perfect standards. Adam and Even would not have known there was something beyond their own natural instincts and desires without the knowledge of good and evil. Without the fall, man would have existed in a state of childlike innocence, but also in childlike ignorance. In a cosmic sense, the knowledge of good and evil caused humans to grow up, to see ourselves from a self reflective place, and to either consciously choose our own will, or to realize that our will was not sufficient to bring us happiness or fulfillment. The fall as horrific and tragic as it was, became the catalyst for God’s eternal plan of redemption and exaltation. Man fell because of the weakness of his nature and the pettiness of his own will. This fall brought about separation and death. Yet, God would bring out of this tragedy reconciliation and life. It would be accomplished through the strength of His will, and through His own good pleasure. God would provide reconciliation out of alienation, joy out of sorrow, forgiveness out of condemnation, life out of death, and ultimately children and heirs out of creatures of dust. That which was beyond the knowledge or power of man God would accomplish through His own wisdom and strength. Through our own will, efforts and determination no man is justified, we are condemned for our imputed disobedience in Adam, and our personal failings as individuals. We are condemned by the Law of God, and by the law of our own minds. God used our very disobedience to show us that we could never obtain holy perfection through our carnal and earthly nature, yet this is what He would bestow upon us through His own precious Son.
Titus 3:3-6 KJV
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
I Corinthians 15:22-28 + 45-58
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
It is also through the fall that God would show us our own shortcomings and failings. Adam and Eve in their original perfection and innocence had no need of a savior and redeemer. Yet, with the fall, our human need for one that is greater than ourselves would become painfully clear, all our self efforts of perfection and reconciliation would fall woefully short, and our own self sufficiency and moralism would lead us to despair. God, by allowing us to disobey, provided the means by which He would one day make us more than human, more than mere creatures, beings beyond the wildest imagining of angels, for through our fall, alienation and rebellion, God would judge us dead, Yet, God would quicken us and give us new life and being through His very own Son. Adam and Eve in their original perfection walked with God and spoke with Him in the Garden, but we fallen race of men have been offered an even greater gift and relationship with the creator than Adam and Eve could ever have dreamed of. Through the disobedience of Adam, mankind forfeited his position as lord of this earth by trying to achieve divine knowledge through his own will. Through the second Adam, mankind is now exalted beyond all creation, not through the strength of our will or personal acquisition, but through the free gift of God, provided by His only begotten son. Unlike Adam and Eve who knew God externally, we can know God within us, for He has given us His own Spirit and has made us god men and god women. [cite this] “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:12-14) “ For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:21+22) “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (I Cor. 15:45) “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (I Cor. 13:12)