TAG Ministries Foundation, Inc.


Apples from the Garden

One rotten apple can spoil a whole bushel basket full of apples. Initially, one bad apple will produce a slight odor to the whole container. Later, the effects of decomposition will extend to other apples. In time, there are hardly any good apples left suitable for consumption. And it all started innocently enough with one not-so-good apple. Eating a rotten apple will not necessarily bring death to anyone, but it certainly could cause an unwanted taste in your mouth.

It takes a very small amount of poison to have a deadly effect. Snakebite with powerful venom can quickly end someone's life. Misunderstanding of words can prove to be fatal, in some cases. Failure to ask questions or to provide sufficient evidence can lead to wrong choices.

It's not that Adam and Eve weren't given protection in the Garden of Eden, because God restricted the serpent to just one tree. All they had to do was to stay away from that particular tree.

It's not that Adam and Eve weren't warned of the serpent's tactics, because all they had to do was believe what God told them.

It's not that Adam and Eve weren't told in advance what would happen to them, because the end result was made plain to them: Death would be the final outcome.

Eating the Apple from the tree in the Garden was not the problem. Believing the serpent's Lie was the lethal dose that brought death and all of death's ramifications with it. Who told the truth: God, the Creator, or Satan, the serpent?

The Genesis record states:

And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16,17.

The Genesis record also states:

 Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it , or you will die'."

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6.

God said: "...when you eat of it you will surely die."
The serpent said: "You will not surely die."

So, the newly formed couple in the Garden of Eden faced their first major issue: Who are they going to trust? God, the Creator on the one hand vs. Satan, the serpent, on the other. What could be more controversial than these complete opposites? God said: "... you will surely die,' as opposed to Satan's version: "You will not surely die!" In other words: "You will not live forever," vs. "You will live forever!" The dilemma for Adam and Eve became: "Who's telling the truth?

Since Adam and Eve did not die when they ate the fruit from the tree, serious doubts about God were born, and it has been expanded upon the entire human race by Satan ever since. Satan's lie: "You will not surely die" has become The Lie. And from this premise many other fallacies have been assumed, adhered to, and followed. This becomes known as FOTAP - Fallacy Of The Assumed Premise!

There is ample evidence of the acceptance of Satan's lie to be found in the embodiment of Christianity today: "You will not surely die - you will live forever." For example, the "saved" person will live forever in Heaven with God, and the "unsaved" person will live forever in the flames of torment with Satan and his followers. Somehow, it doesn't take much intelligence to figure out there is something totally wrong with this way of thinking. Did God create beings, some of which will bless his name and be a part of his kingdom forever, and at the same time there will be others who will curse his name in the flames of torment forever? Will God have to perform a miracle to keep those people alive in the flames so they can endure suffering for all eternity, lest they die prematurely from asphyxiation? But, it is assumed that they won't die, so will God then be satisfied that he will be able to taunt the devil and his followers in the flames for as long as God shall live? What kind of a God would enjoy that kind of revenge and retribution? Could a God like that be trusted? Who would want someone like that for a friend? Would you feel safe in Heaven with a God having those characteristics?

If you were Satan, the devil, what would be your priority in regard to every living being? Since you are a deceiver and the 'father of lies,' what is it that you want to achieve? Would the ultimate for you be Ruler of the Universe where you would show your dominance by subjecting everyone to do your bidding? Would you demand obedience and allow no one to question your actions? Would you be arbitrary, exacting, and severe? Would your subjects "bow the knee" and beg forgiveness from you? Would you inflict pain and punishment for what seems to be no reason at all? Would you compel everyone to accept the words that you say as truth, and allow no deviation from that? Would you be a harsh taskmaster? Would you "crack the whip" on all who are part of your kingdom?

If you were Satan, would you silence those who oppose you? Would you even kill them? Think about it: How could you kill them if they live forever, like the devil says? They cannot die! All you can do is make them miserable and be in agony forever. Come to think of it though, living eternally that way is much worse than not living at all. Eternal punishment, punishment never to end, is the ultimate - if you were Satan!

On the other hand, if you were God, what would be your priority in regard to every living being? I find it strange and amazing, and almost incomprehensible that Christianity has a picture of God that resembles, if not a picture of God that is identical with that of Satan, the devil, all of which has been described in the paragraphs above. If people live in the flames of torment forever, then it was God who told the lie in the Garden of Eden when he said: "...when you eat of it you will surely die." At the same time then, it was Satan who told the truth when he said: "You will not surely die," because the lost will burn in the flames of torment forever! Is God then the liar?

Always remember: You can never trust a liar!
God always tells the truth, doesn't he?
Didn't Jesus say: "I am the way, the truth, and the life?"
Many times in the gospels Jesus said: "I tell you the truth..."
Isn't the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth?

It seems to me as though Christianity of the past, as well as Christianity of today, has been eating those Apples from the Garden, in other words those Lies from Satan, year after year, century after century, almost from day one. Those apples (the lies) from the tree may taste good, but there is no truth in them. Looks are deceiving, but the taste is delicious! The devil's deceptive words are fraudulent, deceivable, nearly believable lies, but they have no place in God's kingdom. The people who openly defend the devil's lies and lead others to accept the same lies will not live forever - they will die!

Our Creator told Adam and Eve: "...when you eat of it you will surely die!"

In other words:
"When you buy into Satan's lies about God, you will surely die; you will not live forever!"

From God's perspective, "To die" does not mean "To live in pain and agony forever!"

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