The Tree Of Life
GEORGE L. FAULL
Interviewer: Brother Faull, why do you believe men die?
Bro. Faull: Death is the result of sin.
Interviewer: Is that because of personal sin?
Bro. Faull: Of course not. Some are born dead. It is said of Jacob and Esau while still in the womb, that they had neither done any good or evil. Romans 9:11.
Interviewer: But why should everyone die for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull: Because that is what God warned would result if Adam sinned. “For in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die,” or “Dying you shall die.” This was before the creation of Eve. Adam is the fountainhead of the human race. He obviously understood that not only he himself would die, but all humans, likewise. Later he told his new wife that she was included for she told Satan in plural: “Ye shall not eat it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” So it is clear that they understood it was for both of them and their posterity as well. If an electrician says to a man, “You touch that wire and you will surely die.” Surely it includes his family.
Interviewer: Well, I can see that it would apply to the man who did the same thing, but not all men have eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So why will they die? If I touched a wire, I would die, but not my children, unless they touched the wire.
Bro. Faull: Good observation! Scripture does say, “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” Romans 5:17.
Interviewer: So again, why do men dir for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull: We do not die for Adam’s sin. That would imply that we are guilty of his sin. We die because of Adam’s sin. Romans 5:12.
Interviewer: Go on.
Bro. Faull: God warned Adam, that if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would begin to die. Adam sinned! As a result, God removed Adam and his wife away from the source of life, namely the Tree of Life. When God removed the source of life from mankind, and put cherubim to guard them from partaking of the Tree of Life, they obviously all died. Since their descendants could not eat of the source of life, they too died. They did not die for Adam’s sin, but because of Adam’s sin. Suppose a man and his family were in a lifeboat. The man drank the rest of the forbidden canteen. The children did not die for the guilt of the father’s sin, but because of his sin.
Likewise, the guilt of Adam did not pass to his descendants. The effect of taking away the Tree of Life caused all men to die, for it was the source of life. God drove the guilty pair from the garden and from the source of life, causing their descendants to simply die for there was no tree of life for them to partake of outside the Garden of Eden. The children suffer the consequence of the parent’s sin, not the guilt. Sin, therefore, is said to have brought death and it happens to all mankind.
Interviewer: Are you saying then that death is not the wages of sin?
Bro. Faull: No. Death is the wages of sin. It is the price Adam paid for his sin. He died and his posterity also died because we cannot partake of the Tree of Life. The tree was the means of life. Its absence brings death. Man could keep living even after he sinned, if he could have continued to eat of the Tree of Life. This is proven by what God said:
Genesis 3:22-24, “22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and, now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Interviewer: But isn’t it true that all men are born sinners now?
Bro. Faull: This is the commonly held doctrine of both Catholicism and Evangelicals. I do not believe that.
Interviewer: Doesn’t the Bible say, “For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners?
Bro. Faull: Yes, Romans 5:19 says that, but I suggest that we quote all of it.
Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
Now, let me ask you a question. When a person becomes a Christian, the text says that he is made righteous. Is he really righteous, or is he counted righteous? Is he righteous or is it an imputed righteousness?
Interviewer: It is an imputed righteousness.
Bro. Faull: Likewise Adam’s descendants are counted sinners. They do not become sinners in reality till they personally sin any more than we are in reality righteous
Interviewer: But I must call you back to the statement, “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners. They were made sinners!
Bro. Faull: Yes, they were made or declared to be, constituted or rendered sinners just as we are declared to be or rendered, or constituted to be righteous, even though we are not sinless in reality. Note what Paul says in :
Romans 5:12-14, “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
Note that sin is not imputed [counted, reckoned, or laid to one’s charge] where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned over those from Adam to Moses. Why did death reign? Because there was no way for them to eat of the Tree of Life and live.
Interviewer: Didn’t those under law sin?
Bro. Faull: Not after the similitude or likeness of Adam. Once the law was given, they became sinners.
Romans 7:7-9, “7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
Sin is a transgression of the Law.
I John 3:4, “Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.”
By the Law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
Before that, they were guilty of the sin of omission and commission against their conscience. They will thereby be judged by it.
Romans 2:14-15, “14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.)”
Likewise, unborn children and infants have not sinned against knowledge. They died simply because their parents never ate of the Tree of Life. They suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin, but not the guilt of it.
Interviewer: This is all new and interesting to me. However, we Christians will get to eat of the Tree of Life, yet the Bible shows that even the wicked will be raised. Does Jesus’ death give eternal life to everyone?
Bro. Faull: By no means! Adam’s sin resulted in death to all mankind. Christ’s death on the cross paid the price and His resurrection proves that His work was accepted as the payment of the wages of sin. His death makes it possible for all men to be raised from the dead, as all shall be raised from the reign of death. However, not all shall be raised to eternal life in Heaven. Some will be raised to condemnation.
John 5:28-29, “28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
It is those who do Christ’s will who have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and live eternally.
Revelation 22:14, “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Those who for sake Christ, will experience the second death.
Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Interviewer: I am still hung up on “made” sinners.
Bro. Faull: They were rendered or constituted sinners. The word is a passive verb. They were not made to be sinners by nature or against their will. They are reckoned sinners by God, that is in His mind. God reckoned them to be sinners. One is not “reckoned” a sinner if he really is a sinner!!! If a token is reckoned or rendered to a quarter, it is not a quarter. God reckoned all men sinners because of Adam’s sin. God did not make them sinners in the womb in actual fact, for if they were made actual sinners, they are not “reckoned” or “constituted” sinners. They are tokens, not quarters. God did not start making embryos inherent sinners because Adam sinned. He counted the sinners.
Interviewer: Please illustrate what you are saying so that I can grasp it better.
Bro. Faull: I recently went to a farmer and asked him if I could fish in his pond. He said, “No. I allowed another man to fish here and he made a mess and didn’t clean it up. I determined not to let anyone else mess up my beautiful environment around my pond.” He counted me a polluter. I am not actually a polluter. He counted or reckoned me to be a polluter. I suffered the consequences of the actual polluter, and like him, was forbidden the use of the pond. Now, he never changed my nature, made me bent toward polluting or in any way affected my future. He just reckoned I was like the polluter. God reckons all men sinners. Bu choice we all become transgressors after we are born. We go astray. There is none righteous. We have all sinned and are falling short of His glory. Innocence soon leaves us by our own choice.
Interviewer: Won’t some argue with you on that?
Bro. Faull: Of course, but if that view is not held, they have a very serious problem.
Interviewer: Which is?
Bro. Faull: Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful man. He took on our very nature. Was He indeed made an actual depraved, guilty sinner? That would have to follow, if men inherited an evil nature from Adam. Listen to these verses:
Hebrews 2:14-18, “14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.”
Philippians 2:5-8, “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
If Jesus were made like man in his nature and that nature is inherently evil, then Christ was born evil. Did God make Christ a sinner so He could save us? Was the first Adam an inherent sinner from creation when he was created in God’s image? Is not a baby still created in the image of God? Is then God an inherent sinner? The ramifications of the alleged depraved nature of man are endless.
Interviewer: I’m sorry. I think my time has run out. We will just have to get together soon to discuss this further.
Bro. Faull: That will be fine. Feel free to give me a call at any time. Thank you for your time.