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Tuesday, December 4 2012

Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?

The Creation Of "Good" Seed-Bearing Plants

The LORD created all seed-bearing grasses, plants and trees on "the third day." They were all "good."

Pomegranate

"1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear [see also How Did The Flood Happen?]: and it was so. 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day." (Genesis 1:9-12 KJV)

When humans were created on "the sixth day," the LORD [see What Does Word of God Mean To You? and Who Is The LORD?] gave them "every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed" for their food i.e. there were no seed-bearing plants that were toxic or deadly. They could eat any kind of seed-bearing plant.

"1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, 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.

1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Genesis 1:27-31 KJV)

The Garden of Eden had no toxic or poisonous plants because "out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food." The "forbidden fruit" wasn't poisonous - it was the means of humanity being sinless, by obeying the Command of the LORD not to take of it (see also When Freedom Crosses The Line).

"2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:8-9 KJV)

"2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17 KJV)

The species of the off-limits tree is not stated. It could have been any one of many kinds of fruit trees that originated in that area, such as the pomegranate (shown above; see also Pomegranates) or the fig. We know that figs were growing in the Garden because, after the humans became sinners, "they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Fig Leaves and Fruit

"3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman [see also The Birth Of The Bride], Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent [see also Satan's Masquerade], We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?].

3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] walking in the garden in the cool of the day [see also The Spirit Of The Breeze]: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." (Genesis 3:1-13 KJV)

The Origin Of The Weed

Adam and Eve had been given the task of maintaining the Garden ("the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it"), which did not include the endless chore of removing weeds - there were none. When they chose to be sinners however, something new began - noxious, non-food seed-bearing plants began to grow. With the beginning of sin, came the beginning of the weed: "Cursed is the ground for thy sake ... thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." Humans would thereafter be subject to suffering from all sorts of seed-bearing plants that have no "good" purpose.

Marijuana

"3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:17-19 KJV)

The Messiah later referred to the fall of humanity in the parable of the tares (weeds). All began "good," but Satan figuratively sowed seed-bearing weeds among the good seed-bearing plants.

"13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven [see also Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand] is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest [see also The Harvest Prophecies]: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matthew 13:24-30 KJV)

The weeds are allowed to remain, for the present time, for the sake of not destroying what is good. The time will come however when all of the "weeds" will be rendered into smoke: "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world."

"13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world [see What Is The Day Of The LORD? and What Happens After The Messiah Returns?]; and the reapers are the angels.

13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:36-43 KJV)

Are All Seed-Bearing Plants "Good"?

Some people claim that, for example, marijuana use is "good" because it's a seed bearing plant, and, they say, the Bible says that seed-bearing plants were all "good." But, as we read, all seed-bearing plants were good, for food, only in the time before humans became sinners. From the time that humans became sinners, many seed-bearing plants came into existence that are toxic or deadly if consumed in any way. A Biblical example of seed-bearing ("wild gourds") poisonous plants was the famous "death in the pot" in the time of Elisha. If not for a miracle done at the last minute by Elisha (see also Elisha's Miracles), "they could not eat thereof."

Tobacco

"4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.

4:39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 4:40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof." (2 Kings 4:38-40 KJV)

Tobacco is a seed-bearing plant (the tobacco flower "top" and seed is shown in the illustration), the leaves of which are smoked by many people. It's exactly the same as marijuana in that way (both are even referred to as the "weed"). But tobacco is a highly addictive, incapacitating, deadly plant - albeit "legal" in the eyes of man. What's the difference? Saying that marijuana is "good" simply because it's a seed bearing plant ignores the many other seed-bearing plants just like it that are deadly.

Most beverage alcohol is made from seed-bearing plants. Wine is made from grapes, which have seeds; beer is made from barley, which is a seed; whiskey is made from various grains (e.g. rye), which is seed. But abuse of alcohol, which is made from seed bearing plants, is condemned in the Bible - not because the alcohol itself is evil, but because inebriation, from anything, is evil (see also What Is Sorcery?). People who get "stoned," on anything, unless they repent, are making their character unfit for salvation:

"21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 21:19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear." (Deuteronomy 21:18-21 KJV)

"23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." (Proverbs 23:20-21 KJV)

"13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:11-14 KJV)

"6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)

Use or Abuse

Apart from whether a seed-bearing plant is outright poisonous, what is it that makes a plant, that otherwise has legitimate "good" uses, into something evil, or at the very least foolish? Why would someone who uses, for example, marijuana (and just so there's no misunderstanding, I do not use marijuana or any other drugs; nor do I drink alcohol, other than a very small amount of red wine once per year at Passover), be regarded as foolish in the eyes of God for using it merely as a "recreational drug," to get inebriated like a fool, whereas using the very same plant for proven legitimate and legal medical purposes for healing of human suffering be regarded as good? The answer to that is found throughout the Bible, where things that were created good by the LORD were misused and abused into instruments of evil.

Opium Poppy According to some present day medical research, marijuana may be useful to some people with certain genuine medical conditions. A quote from the "Medical cannabis" article in Wikipedia, December 3 2012:

"Medical cannabis refers to the parts of the herb cannabis used as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine. The Cannabis plant has a long history of use as medicine, with historical evidence dating back to 2737 BCE. Cannabis is one of the 50 "fundamental" herbs of traditional Chinese medicine, and is prescribed for a broad range of indications."

The opium poppy is a seed-bearing plant that, depending on whether it is used or abused, has destroyed the lives of a great number of people through heroin addiction, or relieved the pain and suffering of a great many other people through morphine and other pain-relieving drugs derived from the same plant. Is the plant itself "good" or "evil"? There's no way to tell until someone uses, or abuses, it. Another quote from Wikipedia, the "Papaver somniferum" article on December 3 2012:

"Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are derived. Opium is the source of many narcotics, including morphine (and its derivative heroin), thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine. The Latin botanical name means the "sleep-bringing poppy", referring to the sedative properties of some of these opiates.

The poppy is the only species of Papaveraceae that is an agricultural crop grown on a large scale. Other species, Papaver rhoeas and Papaver argemone, are important agricultural weeds, and may be mistaken for the crop." (Wikipedia article "Papaver somniferum")

Even in the yet-future, some seed-bearing plants will be used, not for destroying health, or just to "get high," but for healing. And where will that happen? At the restoration of the Garden of Eden in the Kingdom of God (see The Church: Mission Accomplished).

"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." (Revelation 21:1-6 KJV) "22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:1-5 KJV)

Fact Finder: How is this physical life a matter of knowing how to choose which "light" to grow toward?
See Who Lights Your Walk?


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This Day In History, December 4

771: Charlemagne became the sole emperor of the Franks after the death of his brother Carloman (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

963: Holy Roman Emperor Otto deposed Pope John XII for dishonorable conduct and for plotting an armed conspiracy. Leo VIII succeeded as pope (see The Holy Roman Empire, Emperors and Popes and The Struggle For The Papacy).

1154: Nicholas Breakspear became the only Englishman to be crowned pope. He reigned as Adrian IV.

1489: The Battle of Baza between the Spanish army and the Moors.

1563: The Council of Trent ended after 18 years.

1674: French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette constructed the first building of a mission in the wilderness area of Lake Michigan. Today the place is known as Chicago.

1791: The Observer, of Britain, the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, was first published.

1809: The International Bible Society was founded. It has since distributed the Bible to over 150 countries in the world.

1829: Britain abolished the practice of "suttee" in India, in which the widow burned herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre.

1914: At the beginning of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German Navy formed the first military seaplane force. It began operations from Zeebrugge, Belgium.

1918: The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed. It became known as Yugoslavia.

1952: The Great Smog of London began when vast amounts of coal smoke emitted from homes and factories, along with gasoline and diesel vehicle exhaust, combined with a unique cold fog from the Atlantic. The "smog" (the original and first use of the word smog - smoke and fog) killed thousands of people over that winter.

1981: Ronald Reagan officially (i.e. publicly admitted) authorized the CIA to conduct spy operations in the U.S. itself (millions of naive people were apparently oblivious to the reality that the CIA was already doing so, just as it had been right from the moment that it was created).

1991: Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) ceased operation due to bankruptcy.


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