Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil - Looking from Tree of Life

In looking at Gen 2:9 and Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil again, I have additional point to make.

Original Hebrew Word of Knowledge in Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil is H1847 da‛ath. BDB gives 2 definitions:
  • 1a) knowledge, perception, skill
  • 1b) discernment, understanding, wisdom
Strong's says From H3045; knowledge: - cunning, [ig-] norantly, know(-ledge), [un-] awares (wittingly).

In my earlier posting, I said "Knowing" instead of "Knowledge" in "Tree of Knowing Good and Evil". This agrees well the discernment of BDB and awareness of Strong's. A better word could be "judgment" which ties even better with my explanation of man wanting to be a judge of good and bad without God.

Understanding Knowledge of Good & Evil from Understanding Tree of Life
What does life mean? Checking BDB, we have H2416 chay

1) living, alive (adjective) 1c) lively, active (of man)
2) relatives (noun masculine)
3) life (abstract emphatic) (noun masculine);3a) life; 3b) sustenance, maintenance
4) living thing, animal 4a) animal;4b) life;4c) appetite;4d) revival, renewal
5) community
(noun feminine)

Checking up Strong's, give:
From H2421; alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively: - + age, alive, appetite, (wild) beast, company, congregation, life (-time), live (-ly), living (creature, thing), maintenance, + merry, multitude, + (be) old, quick, raw, running, springing, troop.

In the original hebrew, Chay, Life is more than just being alive and active but include a very important element, Community, Company, Congregation.

So, if Adam partakes the Tree of Life, then he would be choosing communion with God and life comes automatically because God is the source of life.

On the other hand, choosing Tree of Knowing/Judgement of Good and Evil means a rejection of communion with God and Adam's own desire to be the judge.

The choice that Adam was presented with were:
  1. Life with God (Tree of Life) versus
  2. Be my own Judge (of Good & Evil) without God.
Or more simply put : 1. God versus 2. No God.

This choice is not about choosing life over knowledge but life with God or Be-my-own-boss without God.
One should hold the two key concepts in balanced and not choosing one and discarding the other.

e.g. God is both Love and Righteous (Truth, Justice).

In fact, Love has truth in it (1Co 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. ) and Truth has love in it. (Col 1:6 ...understood the grace of God in truth)
And Jesus is full of BOTH grace-love and truth Joh 1:14.

Similar, we should pursue both, Life and Knowledge(Wisdom) and not emphasizing one and rejecting the other. If you have Jesus (life), you have Truth( Knowledge, Wisdom). Life contains wisdom and knowledge because God if full of both. Wisdom or Knowledge begins with life - fear of the Lord (of Life) is the beginning of wisdom. (Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. )

So, choose both Life and Knowledge/Wisdom .
The choice that Adam made was not about life vs knowledge but about with God or without God.
Hope this clarify.

For a discussion on how to hold two extremess in balanced, see Yin Yang and the Bible .


KP#27 Principle of Accountability

The Principle of Accountability is found in the Parable of Dragnet Mat 13:47-50 and Parable of the Sheep & Goats Mat 25:31-46. The lessons can be combined for us to come out with a good method for establishing accountability.

If one studies the companies that are rated as "The Best Companies to Work for" , you can find that those companies tend to outperform their industry counterparts. Digging deeper, you can find that the staff have much freedom to decide what to do (empowered) and they are highly motivated to do well. The secret is two fold:
  1. clearly communicated mission and vision (understanding the what & why)
    and no detailed prescription for how. Staff are given the freedom to decide the how to achieve the goals.
  2. a proper accountability system.
Accountability provides the learning framework for us to grow. It is important that we know how well we are doing - correcting the wrong and strengthening the right actions. Accountability provides us to remove those behaviours or people that are not working towards the achievement of shared mission and vision.

Following the system, we can achieve the ideal of 'self-management' that is productive and adaptable and agile to changing business environments.

Here are the details:

Next: Principle of Excellence - Zero Defect

Salvation is Devotion to Christ

It is good now and then to relook and reflect on the meaning of salvation.

Past postings include
Last Sunday, Pastor preached such a topic. My reflection is to look at it as "devotion" to Christ as Mary towards to Jesus (Luke 10:42). Jesus defining purpose of eternal life as knowing God the Father (John 17:3) and a warning by Paul in 2 Cor 11:3 that devil wants to prevent us from such a pure devotion to Christ.

The details are in the mind-map:


Life & Death

Rev Samuel Sia preached at my church Mandarin Service yesterday morning. I found his message very useful in our witness and sharing of the Gospel. Below is my reflections and summary. i.e. include my learning of his message and my own additions even though many ideas are from his message.

Jesus Breaks the Inevitable March from Birth to Death to Give us Zoe Eternal Life
When man are born into this world, he begins his match to death. The only way to reverse or break free from this covenant of death (Isa 28:15) is Jesus. Accepting Jesus not only reverse this sequence, bring us out of death into the life, He gives us a better life of Zoe, Godly eternal life (Isa 28:18).

I Don't Want to Receive Christ because I want to Join My Passed Away Spouse in Hell
While sharing the Gospel with older people, we came across, often, the refusal to accept Jesus because they wanted not to be separated from their passed away spouse in hell. Rev Sia offerred two key points:

a. They may not be there! Rev Sia shared two stories about the Fathers had already received Christ in earlier times but did not tell their spouse or children nor did they go to church.
b. Those in Hell wish that you don't come to join them. Luke 16:28

I wish to add a third point - seeing from the view of your children. My friend shared with me how his mother accepted Christ after years of refusal using the reason that she did not want to be separated from her husband. He told her to think of it from her children, his point of view. How much pains they will have to carry with them to see their beloved mother in hell. She was convinced and receive Jesus as saviour.

For other detials, please read the mindmap below:


KP#26 Stewardship - Optimization of One's Gifts & Resources

Most people in position, such as Chairman or CEO of corporation or Minister in Government Organization, do not realize that their position is an entrusted one. They are actually stewards to the entrusted resources and must be accountable to them. CEO is the care-taker of the investments made by the public and sharesholders. Government is entrusted by the citizens to be care-taker of their country and the associated resources. As stewards, one has the responsibility to optimize the resources entrusted.

The Jesus told of at least 3 parables and many more exhortations to encourage people to be good stewards. In the Parable of Talents Mat 25:14-30, the talents, 5,2 and 1 are distributed according to their abilities. The able has more talents and resulting in the key teaching of Mat 25:29 more will be given to those who has and those who has not will loose even what they have (my paraphrase).

In Luke 19:11-27, the Parable of Minas, the money is distributed evenly, 1 for each of 10 servants totaling 10. Everyone started with equal amount of resources. The key message is "do business until I come" in v19:13. There is a day of accountability in v15 when he returns "to know what they had gained". In the evaluation, those who have done well is a given greater responsibilities, from mina to cities! The one who did nothing lost his mina.

The principle of Stewardship means we must be accountable and we are to optimize the use of resources entrusted to us.

How can we Optimize the resources?
The key word is Faithfulness. In Luke 16:11-12, Jesus tells us the secret - starts with the little things now. Faithfullness in little will enables you to be faithfulness in the large. You will be promoted from stewards to owners.

Other principles include:
1. Less could be More: It does not depend on the resources given. Don't complain and worry about what you don't have. Work with what you have. More does not means better. In the Miracles of Feeding of thousands, the one starting with less fed more people!

2. Don't waste- Be Lean. In the feeding of multitudes, Jesus asked the disciples to collect back the remains and they filled up big baskets. They also clean up the mess at the same time!

See the mind map below for more ....

Next: Principle of Accountability