Forbidden Fruit

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: But those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever (Deuteronomy 29:29).

From the beginning, God has restricted the amount of knowledge that it is good for man to know. Yet rebellious men have followed Satan’s invitation to acquire spirit powers, “intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Colossians 2:18). The desire to “be as gods” (Genesis 3:5) has allured man to delve into mystical occult “wisdom” while corrupting himself in the knowledge God has given him (Jude 10). Eve, then Adam, fell for Satan’s deception, ate the forbidden fruit, and were put out of the garden. “Lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever” in his sinful state (Genesis 3:22).

Jesus acknowledged man’s godlike capacity (John 10:34, Psalms 82:6). Animal life has amazing instinct powers, and there it stops. But is there a boundary that man will reach? Only God can control that boundary!

God needs to limit human knowledge of the natural and spiritual realms because of the grief and destruction that selfish man can bring outside of God’s will. Satan is the ultimate expression of having superior knowledge (“the anointed cherub” — Ezekiel 28:14, 15) and rejecting God’s control.

For those who accept God’s revelation, they will eventually know it all, “Then shall I know, even as also I am known,” through the omniscient or all-knowing God (1 Corinthians 13:12).

The Dominion Mandate

The new enlightenment in Western Europe in the 19th century brought more scientific advances than in any previous millennium. Scientists as Sir Frances Reddi refuted superstitions such as meat generating maggots and flies (spontaneous generation). He established the law of biogenesis (that only life produces life). Many fixed laws God had established in nature were discovered and used in new ways. The everyday conveniences we enjoy in home, business, health, and travel are the result. These developments in technology are in harmony and obedience to God’s dominion mandate given at creation. “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the. fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28) Scientists in reformation Europe such as Boyle, Pasteur, and the like also gave credit to God from whom all truth and knowledge originate.

Kabala Mysticism

However in that era, a philosophy was proposed which has a strong influence on scientific thinking today. In 1632, Baruch Spinoza was born. He took up the study of the Torah, Talmud, and Kabala. He then went on to the Greek philosophers and rationalists. His Jewish Synagogue soon excommunicated him and “Christian” Europe abhorred him. He concurred with much present day thinking by saying religion was a product of the imagination. He proposed a new “free society in accordance with the divine nature.” God, he said, was nature and all that exists. Reason and intuition, he thought, would lead man to the source of all things. He proposed theories attempting to unite human passion and conduct with the physical sciences for one all-embracing principle of the universe — but without the personal creator God of the Bible!

Kabala, according to World Book Encyclopedia, is Jewish mysticism. It speaks of ancient sages who ascended into the realms of the heavenly beings. It “explores the secrets of creation as well as magical formulas and practices.” It also contains fantastic interpretations and hidden meanings in the numbers and letters of the Bible. Opening oneself to unknown inner spirit powers can bring occult control.

The apostles confronted such mysticism already in the first century after Christ in the Gnostic heresy. Professing superior knowledge (nosis) they defamed Christ. Paul warns the Colossians against “philosophy and vain deceit, and after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:8). He accuses these heretics in their veneration of spirit beings of “intruding into those things which he hath not seen” (verse 18). This Gnostic heresy defaming Christ has also been revived in recent years through the Da Vinci Code book and movie. Paul defends Jesus saying “in him dweleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (verse 9).

Although Spinoza’s ideas seemed to be buried with him, later philosophers Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein picked them up again. When Einstein fled to America from Hitler’s Germany, a Boston Cardinal warned American youth to beware of his atheism. A New York rabbi then asked Einstein if he believed in God. Einstein replied, “I believe in Spinoza’s god who reveals himself in the harmony of all being.”

Einstein overturned the mechanistic concept of the universe. He relied not on experimentation but on intellect, logic, and intuition. He said, “The logic of a theory must stem from an inner coherence, not external evidence.” Thus he exposed the Kabalistic influence on his thinking.

Relativism

This is the background of Einstein’s theory of relativity in 1905. If man delves into the mystical unknown, God may give knowledge, but man may not be able to handle it for his good. World Book again says. “Relativity has caught the imagination of the average person . . . yet is not easily understood. It can only be understood by mathematical formulas …. Like theories [it is] an invention of the human mind.”

Relativity thinking produced the formula to release atomic power in the atom, E=mc². This power was used in World War II against Japan to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In two instances, an estimated 140,000 people were killed. Another 50,000 were injured and sickened, many dying later from the radiation. Today, atomic energy supplies electrical power to our homes. It is also used in medicine, industry, and science. But now with instability among the nations, atomic weapons are falling into the hands of evil men. Without a Christian respect for human life impending calamity is indeed a realistic fear. In this we recognize the continuing work of Satan to destroy God’s creation. The end time Revelation judgments have many similarities to nuclear devastation (Revelation 8).

Many scientists are still working with Einstein’s relativity theory, exploring the infinities of outer and inner space. Basically relativity says the laws of our natural world do not always act the same. For example, the idea that past the speed of light mass increases. In the study of outer space theories and mathematical calculations propose such things as black holes, anti-matter, warped time, and space and such like. In the area of quantum mechanics, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was made possible. Scientists are still seeking a unified principle that explains the physical and psychic powers of the universe. We can see a likness to the pagan “all is one” beliefs of eastern religions. Many scientists would deny or be unaware of the Kabalistic influence on their thinking. Yet they reject the one true, personal, holy, God of the Bible who has spoken His Word (John 1:1-18). He is the sovereign God to whom each individual will give account for the deeds done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Technology Explosion

When men united to build the tower of Babel to reach “unto heaven” (Genesis 11:4). God said, “Now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:6). The worldwide communication and commerce that God confounded at Babel is restored again today in the World Wide Web. We are left to discern from God’s Word what conveniences are forbidden and what is usable in His service.

Expanding knowledge of inner space also finds scientists tampering with the very building blocks of life. Billions of bits of ordered genetic information on the genome should prove God to men. However, genetic manipulation is raising ethical issues. We benefit from gene therapy, herbicide resistant grain, and genetically cloned livestock Yet mixing genes of animals and humans is questionable. Man is gaining the knowledge to do miraculous cures and preserve life (for the rich). Meanwhile immoral living and the destruction of life, born and unborn, is increasing. How far will God let men go?

Those who accept the God of the Bible know that His Word stands true. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the death process did set in. Even though knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate today, life is made bitter and shortened by sin. Drugs, AIDS, lost family life, and hostile environments produce maladjusted youth. Many physically, mentally, and emotionally handicapped victims call for all kinds of rehabilitation.

When the very intelligent “free society” of Spinoza, Marx, and Freud gives account of itself, it will be like the first world judgment. “They knew not until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). They were ignorant of the simple truth they could have known from God’s Word about life and salvation.

While striving to capture knowledge that is beyond us, many miss the essential knowledge for life that God has given us. The righteous laws of God produce happy, disciplined, noble individuals in the image of God as He created man to be (Genesis 1:27). “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not” (James 1:5).

Sources: World Book Encyclopedia; The Jew; God, and History by Max Dimont; Answers magazine Vol. 3 No 1.

-by Elvin Stauffer

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