Research and study By: Timothy M. Youngblood
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Eternal Life - Eternal Death
This subject is important because we need to understand the many aspects of what it means to make choices and how they affect us and others. There is a Old Testament scripture in the book of Deut ch. 30: vs. 19 that states..."I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Ever wonder why?
Ever wonder why God placed a poison tree that was forbidden for humans in His perfect garden called Eden ? Ever wonder why God took Adam to the forbidden tree and showed him the fruit stating, he could eat of every tree except this tree's fruit? (Its also noteworthy that Eve was not yet created when Adam received this warning.) Ever wonder why God allowed Satan to remain in the garden after he became God's enemy by attempting to overthrow the Kingdom of God? Ever wonder why the forbidden tree was within a short walking distance for Adam and Eve? If the forbidden fruit was poison to anyone that would partake of its fruit then why not put it on the other side of the world if it had to be on earth at all?
Another question is did Adam and Eve have the mind of grown adults at the time they disobeyed God's clear command not to eat of this one tree? We find in scripture that Adam and Eve were created as grown adults in the physical fashion, however, they were in reality children in mind and emotion. God did walk with, and teach them, but they were not mature because they could not at this time understand what one would learn in life's experience. They had not by experience learned the consequence of their actions. It would be accurate to say that to place something before them that was forbidden and allow the tempter to speak to them, would invite sure failure on their part, so we might ask, why would God do such a thing knowing they like any child would fail? As we go through this study you will find that the answer is very simple in itself, but yet very complex in application. The answer in short is "Free Will Choice" but we need to not just let it go there. We need to look at the complexity of Free will Choice to understand why God had to make this part of our process of growth towards our greatest destiny.
Let's look at the term "free will choice" so we can get a good understanding of the meaning because this is the very key to our reason for existence. Free choice is the freedom to choose and importantly without external forces whether physical or divine, and is the real God given right all humans should have. So we see by the term free will choice that we must be able to choose without even God preventing us from that choice. It may shock you to know that even if God was watching Eve reach for the forbidden fruit He could not intervene if He intended for us to have free will choice! There are those that teach we don't have free will choice and that even our date of death is set by God, but we can clear this up by asking one question. Why did God allow Eve, then Adam to choose to eat of this tree if God controls our every move? Let's look at another event that shows God does not know what we will do under any given situation. Let's turn to Gen 22:10-12 to see if in fact God knows what we will do in all circumstances. It states..."And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (NKJ throughout) So we find recorded in scripture that after Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son God stated "Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." The fact is that if God knows before hand than there would not be a need to test us.
Now for the question most would ask. What would be the point of intentionally giving us free will choice? Let's start answering this question by first defining what God had placed in the garden. "And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Gen 2:9. Notice that there was a tree called the tree of LIFE and the second tree was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We could also say the tree of life and the tree of death because by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God stated they shall surely DIE.
Why would the knowledge of good and
evil cause death?
Let's go back to that time before Eve took of the fruit and caused death to come upon us all so we can understand. On this tree was fruit and within this fruit was something that was forbidden for mankind. It was as if God had programmed something in this fruit that if never touched would set there as harmless as a butterfly, but if violated it would be as deadly as a serpent! So why would this fruit cause death, and was it the fruit itself that was poison? The answer is no and the reason it became poison is because God stated that they should not eat of it. The truth is that it could have been anything that God commanded for them not to do. When they partook of it after they had been commanded not too, they became disloyal to God and became in violation of His confidence. They gained the knowledge of Good and Evil by disobedience; but what else entered into our first parents when they disobeyed?
What else was added that would place the curse on anyone else that was born
from them? It was the conscience that was added, and that is the reason
each person is liable for their own sins. It is our conscience that
tells us what is, or is not sin! Remember the very important telling sign
was that Adam and Eve did not know they were naked until they ate of the forbidden
fruit? This is where many people come to believe the fall of mankind had to
do with sex, however the fact they understood they were naked only meant that
they had lost their innocence. We know that sex was not the sin they committed
because before mankind sinned we find recordrd in Gen. 1: 27-28 that God commanded
them to "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it."
which denotes to have sex and reproduce.
Eve must have thought about the tree after Adam had showed it to her because she went back to the tree and then saw that its fruit was pleasant to the eyes and good for food. So she became tempted by her own desires and when the deceiver came to her it was not very hard to get her to sin. She resisted his first attempts by stating that she was commanded not to eat of it, and if she did the penility would be death. I can almost hear Satan's thoughts at this point, ("Then why are you here?") Satan (The great deceiver) told her that she would not die but she would become as God, knowing both good and evil. This was as any believable lie because it was mixed with some truth. We do become like God when we know both good and evil, however Satan failed to tell her that we, unlike God, are physical and can't control the aspects of good and evil. Satan's particular method of reasoning or argumentation convinced her she needed to take of it because of two reasons. 1) Because she had already played with the thought in her mind seeing that it was good and would make her wise and, 2) Satan made it sound like God was holding her back from becoming like Him for not allowing her to have it, and then told her what she wanted to hear…That she would not die! Just as sure as the sunset, Satan will get us to believe that there are no consequence for our actions!
Once more, why would God intentionally place the knowledge of good and evil there for the taking when He knew that humans would not be able to deal with good and evil? Let's ask a question to answer this one. God can create anything He desires right? Yes He can, but can He create all things by command alone? By fiat? The truth is, No! Like the experience of climbing a mountain can only be gained by climbing a mountain and gaining wisdom and knowledge in life only comes from age and experience. So what we find God doing here by allowing us to have the knowledge of good and evil, or put the other way, to live in a state of lost innocence, is that God is creating the greatest creation ever devised which is for mankind to develop righteous character, by choice. This character must be part of those that will become His children, and holy character must come, first by the knowledge of, and then experiencing good and evil, and then after experiencing the lust of the flesh and its ill effects we then must have free will choice to choose good over evil. This process can't come about in a short time and in many cases some lessons takes a lifetime. Many factors enter in throughout the lives of us all, but the one thing we can't claim is that we did not know the difference from right or wrong!
Let's not forget that there was another tree in the garden we were supposed to partake of called the tree of LIFE. What could this mean, the tree of life? Mankind never took of it yet we have life? The bible reveals that the tree of life gives eternal life. There is temporary life and temporary death just as there is eternal life and eternal death. (For a more detailed study on life and death, please see our mini study titled, "What happens after death" at the end of this study.) as I will not be going into that in detail here in order to stay on the subject at hand. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned they were cast out of the garden and God had a very good reason for quickly removing them from the garden. Let's read about it in Gen 3:22-24. It states... "Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."
So we see the reason God
cast them out was so they could not partake of the tree of LIFE also
and live forever. You see if they had of taken of the tree of life first and
then came upon the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would not have
partook of it. Notice what is said of those in the
Let's understand that there are acts and attitudes that are evil which leads to eternal death and there are sins that just make us unclean and does not lead to eternal death as recorded in what is called the book of I John 5:16-17; Let's read it. "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He (Jesus) will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death." Both types of sins should be avoided as a lifestyle because we see that there's not only rewards in this life for good works, but punishment for evil works, and there's eternal life for the righteous, and eternal death for the unrighteous. Just as the sin of our first parents brought death to the flesh, and continued sin, or a love for sin which can turn a heart evil, can result in eternal death. Let's read what words of Jesus John recorded in John 15:4-6 It states; "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."
Repentance and change from within:
As I alluded to before; the one thing that we must develop before we can become Spirit begotten Children of God is holy righteous character and this can't come about except through choice. Remember, we must experience good and evil and come to desire the good over evil if we are to become like God. What we MUST come to understand is that there's a reason for eternal life and a reason for eternal death. I have not found a signal scripture teaching that the angels who fell with Satan can repent and return to God, however there are some that teach such. According to scripture they will be lost forever because they are spirit, and they can't be destroyed or changed after sin enters them so they must live in the painful state of being cut off from God forever. I must say at this point that God is the one that will decide this a I do hope they can repent at some point. From our research it seems the great truth is that God created us physical so we could not live forever if we choose the way of evil.
By being physical we can be completely destroyed if we fail to accept Jesus as the only true Son of God or if we choose to become evil. The fact is that God wants a family that's concerned for the good of all the creation just as He is. God wants a family that has His mind and desires to fulfill His will by our own choice. God wants a spirit family that will love Him and trust all He commands knowing He loves us. This love from God is a true love, which is the type of love that goes away from the self, and outward towards others. It is a love greater than what Adam and Eve had. It is the type of love good parents love their children with; loving them more than loving themselves! We must receive and grow in this love by submitting to God before He will ever entrust us with becoming eternal children and having His power.
A new and wrong kind of love being accepted:
Many people think that there is only one type of love which is described as affection for another person, however there are more than one type of love. The first type is Agape which is the kind of love that can come from God, and Jesus first and foremost for humankind and then for His creation. There is also affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one's neighbor, or charity which is benevolent feelings toward those in need. Then there is the type with a warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. Then there is sexual passion or desire which is the type that is a feeling toward a person whom is a sweetheart or life mate. There is however a new kind of love being taught in many churches and around the world today. This new love that is being preached by those who follow the ways of this world is just the opposite of God's love. Their brand of love is inward toward the self. They teach that we must look inside ourselves to find God. That to bring out what is deep within will connect us to our "higher power" or our spirit within allowing us to fulfill our greatest needs and desires which will unlock the infinite power of self.
This teaching comes from the old practice of witchcraft but can be found in what is known today as the coven of Wicca. There is even a coven called the "Christian-Wicca" which teach self help techniques. Satan wants us to concentrate on the inner spirit because it is in reality, the spirit of the self, and promotes only what the individual desires, or even to love in a way that accepts all regardless of the persons lifestyle. The Wicca movement even states that they are neutral, and that there is no such thing as right or wrong. To allow Satan to convince us that we should promote the self for success in life is to bring the very fruits of destruction, and is the very thing Paul warned us about as recorded in 2 Tim 3:1-5 saying. "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" Think of the type of world we would have to endure if these fruits were in most people. This generation is coming and is almost here I'm sorry to say!
When Hitler was ruling the people of
Let's also take note that in Rev. 3:12; Rev. 3:21; and Rev. 21:7 for more on what is promised to those who overcome. These scriptures reflect that we must produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit and good works to be allowed eternal life with the God family. Acceptance of the blood of the Lamb of God puts us under grace and gives us room to grow so when we stumble or fall, we can ask with a sincere and repentant heart to be forgiven and then we can continue on working to improve ourselves. We need this room to grow because God is in the process of changing us from within, not just external conformance to rules as was done in the old Covenant. This is the very principal of the potter and clay. (See By their fruits at the end of this study for more on this.)
Much of mankind is given the opportunity to know and accept or reject the salvation of the Messiah and no one will have an excuse for not knowing the truth because like stated before, we have the tree of the knowledge of good and evil within us. We also have another way to know if we are doing right or wrong that can't be denied or covered up except by pure self denial. If we think we can get away with a life of sin then let's read what is recorded in Gal 6:7-8. It states..."Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." We know that all physical things are temporary and as we find recorded in Matt 6:19-21 we should lay up treasures in heaven and not on the earth. This scripture also states that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also so this is why Paul stated he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
This is just like the law of action and reaction, so what we do to others could very well happen to us. It's like throwing a bucket of slop up against a 50 mile an hour wind; if you don't want it on you, don't throw it! The law of action and reaction is sure and does not discriminate for, or against, the rich, poor, or against any sex or race. If a person can't or won't believe what God states is right or wrong then they will live their life learning by this law. If we continue in a life of sin then we will live in some sort of sorrow and pain, but if we try to over come we can expect a more content life. Does this mean those that work hard and believe in doing the right thing will never have trials? Not at all. Does this mean that we have a choice in all aspects of our lives? Not at all. One would never choose to be hit by a drunk driver and loose their legs for the rest of their lives, but it does happen but because of the sins of others not because of God! We all have trials just being human, and we all are different with different back grounds, genetics, and opportunities that help us through doors that may be locked to others. God does involve Himself in some human affairs but we all must learn this very important lesson which is whatever God may determine in our lives is good for us and no one has the right to reply against God and ask why! We must understand that God is God and the fact He has ALL rights over us is what makes Him God. Be grateful that He has compassion and is very merciful, and do your best to obey Him and pray for His love, compassion, and mercy. Most importantly rely on Jesus the Messiah for your salvation!
How should we measure if we, or others are in God's good grace? Some people equate having riches with doing good works, as being in the grace of God, but is success the way to measure our standing with God? Although one can be successful if they follow the laws of wisdom in finances, we can't measure anyone's righteousness or unrighteousness by what they possess. I'm sure you would agree that many today and down through time have had great power and riches but were very evil. Queen Mary did all for the mother church, but was she righteous? She died with the name Bloody Mary. The righteous, and unrighteous, the rich and poor go through trials and testing and in this process called life we all learn what God is teaching and in many cases are humbled. Trials are there because either we caused it ourselves, or someone else caused it. We just need to determine what we need to learn in any trial.
There is an old saying that states..."Success is acquired on the building blocks of our failures." If we continue to ignore the trial and never come to understand why the same type of things continue to happen to us, we are in many cases doomed to continue to repeat it until we do. We should not ask why things continue to happen, but what do we need to learn from it. In some cases we will fall because we have judged others in a wrong way and God want's us to see we are weak as well. The bottom line is that no one gets away with anything even if they are not found out by the law. All good and bad deeds are rewarded by God in His time, either now by adverse events till we repent and change or after Jesus returns and we are changed. The truth is that the act of sin is going against God and to do so is in fact a direct violation of ourselves which results in a lack of inner happiness and well being. If you are depressed then ask why you have so much anger because depression is just anger turned inward.
Does God punish?
Although the book of Revelation is studied in depth by most Christians, many don’t understand what the reason and point for the great tribulation is. The reason they miss the real point is because they are trying to interpret its writings. Many just want to be able to so-say predict the future. The true reason for its writing and future fulfillment is 1) The result of man's disobedience to the laws of God, and, 2) A warning from God about Him punishing the wicked for the purpose of reform. God never punishes for the sake of revenge or because He wants to see suffering. God takes absolutely no pleasure in the pain or suffering of anyone at all, but notice He always let's the punishment fit the infraction, and within the trial are lessons, as well as a plea from God for repentance. If we reject His plea and continue on then the next state of that person can become much worse and then over time the heart can become more hardened towards repentance, and the next plea from God could very well be more severe. As this continues in time the person can become reprobate which is a person that is rejected by God because they have rejected Him and then will be in danger of losing any hope for salvation.
Let's look at what is recorded in 2 Pet ch. 2: vs. 4-10 in order to get the point here. It states starting in verse 4..."For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority." How plain can the scriptures get on this subject? Also Paul states in Romans chapter two that the doers will be justified and that by nature (that fruit within us) even the Gentiles kept the law. These were those that never heard of the truth because notice, they are those without the law. What was it that helped them to know they were sinning? Was it because they belonged to the Church and were baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit? No! It was for the same reason that all people know when they do wrong. "Their "conscience" also bearing witness, and between themselves "their thoughts" accusing or else excusing them"
There are those who teach that the world is deceived and are not held accountable for their actions until God opens their minds to the truth. Is this true? Are we to believe that people don't know that murder is wrong? Are we to believe that people don't know stealing, lying, adultery, or homosexuality is wrong? Are we to believe that people don't know that being proud, a blasphemer, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, being a slanderer, brutal, despisers of good, being a traitor, headstrong, haughty, and loving pleasure over all else is wrong? I'm not referring to what people "believe", but to what they know in their heart is wrong. Christian ministers and elders are teaching people today that they are saved just because they stated with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus died for their sins and that is all there is to it. Is that all there is to it?
No! We must also work on our human nature as best as we can. We must think about the consequence of our actions. If we believe otherwise we will become complacent in our attitude towards sin thinking we don't have anything to worry about. That's why Satan wants you to believe you can't do anything about it and what's truly so bad about this attitude is that it's what we WANT to believe just like Eve wanted to believe that she would not die and all would be fine. We can convince ourselves that we are not accountable for our sins because we are just deceived, but we will still receive the punishment God has set up for those who choose sin for a season; which can result in eternal death! So we see from this that we must not only accept Jesus' blood sacrifice but we must also learn about the agenda of the true Son of God that has the power to forgive and Who has overcame Satan, death and the grave!
Just to make a point here...We have what is called legal voluntary abortion in the United States and is used my thousands of women every day. When women believe they can murder their child because it's her body and she has a right to do with her body as she pleases; she is still committing M-U-R-D-E-R and will be judged by the great God of heaven for the murder of her innocent child. I just wish these women could hear the cry of their child as it's being murdered! Yes, you women can continue to believe the evil doctors who receives great riches for their crimes, but you will not be able to claim you were just deceived. If you believe that God will just punish the Ministers, or Doctors that lie and not those who follow them you are gambling with your eternal life!! The question is if those that want to be justified by claiming they were just deceived then I must ask...Will the world during the great tribulation be deceived and therefore not be guilty? We can read in II Th 2:9-12 where God will allow the people of this world to receive the truth, but they will reject it and receive condemnation. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not "receive" the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Notice "they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." It did not say they did not receive "the truth" but the LOVE of the truth. This denotes that they know the truth but will reject it. The word "receive" in the Greek here means to accept, or take. They would have had to been presented with the truth for them to reject it. The fact is that the world will not have an excuse because the two great witnesses will be teaching the truth in great power to ALL the world during this time. Also notice that those who will reject the truth, will reject it because they will have pleasure in unrighteousness. They choose evil over God and that will be their choice.
Why is it that people choose to go along with traditions of men when they know it is wrong? Why was it that the many German soldiers who were just family men choose to go along with so much murder during the Second World War? Why is it that a crowd will go with the flow of a lynch mob while not even knowing all the facts? The reason people will go along with the traditions of men, and even to the point of murdering thousands like occurred during the Second World War, and voluntary abortion today is because people for the most part want the easy way out. People who are not seeking God and loving Him will like water take the path of least resistance. The point that God wants us to get is that we all need to choose right from wrong even if it cost us in the end. What is recorded about this in Matt 10:37-39. It states..."He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his burden and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Wouldn't this mean that we should be willing to go against those that are evil and fight for the truth and all that is good in God's sight? What we should never forget is that God always judges the heart. If it is in our heart to stand up for all that is right and true, then we will have the strength and courage necessary to go against those that do harm to others. Yes it is a great struggle and it's easier to just go along and blend in, but how will you answer God in the resurrection? Even the struggle of the butterfly is what makes it what it becomes and if you helped it out of the cocoon it would either be deformed or die. In the same way if we don't struggle in this life we too can die for ever. Our Loving Father wants us to live in peace and joy, with great prosperity for all, and the laws of God are for that purpose. They are laws of love; first our love for God and then our love for mankind. If we reject Jesus and the law of God we will be judged and cast into the lake of fire, but if we accept Jesus and the Law of God we will be judged and brought into His glory to live forever. If we accept the mark of the beast we will not be in the book of life, and if we are not in the book of life at the Great White Throne Judgment we will be cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed forever as we read in Rev. 14:9-11.
I must say here that we are human and in our flesh nothing good dwells. We sin and we are weak in the flesh. Some are strong in kindness, while others are not. Some are strong in self control, while others are not. It's recorded in Matt 26:41 that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, so what we truly need is the power of God's Spirit to help us over come the down pull of our flesh and continue to work on ourselves. With the Holy Spirit we need to have God's mercy and compassion coupled with the blood of Jesus to cover our sins while we work on our weak flesh. We also need to understand that most of our failings in righteousness comes from selfishness. As I understand from many years of working on myself the fact is that if we are in God's kingdom in the resurrection it will be because of God's great mercy. It is a fact that we can only be influenced by others when their deception is what we also want to do, or when their deception is easier then following what we in our hearts know is right. Just like Eve in the garden was deceived because Satan presented what she wanted to do in a way that made it seem right. Just like women accepting the murder doctors particular method of reasoning or argumentation to convince them to murder the very one they are to protect and love. Just like people worshipping idols such as the Cross, Madonna, and the Trinity in the name of Christianity. The fact is that they already want to worship them so all Satan has to do is justify it for them. I have failed because of this very thing also and understand the deception first hand.
We can be deceived by others brethren, but please never believe that this frees anyone from the penalty God has declared. All it means to be deceived is that the deceived will go into perdition with those that deceived them! May God open all our minds to this truth so we can prepare for the coming of Christ and be ready to meet Him without fear of His coming judgments! It's your choice and God will not take that from you!
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Pray for the Messiah to return soon;
Timothy M. Youngblood
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