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Tuesday, February 7 2017
When Did Humans Become Mortal?
"For in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die"
Humans were created by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as physical creatures ("2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" Genesis 2:7 KJV; see also What Does The LORD Say About Your Soul?). Even so, according to the Holy Scriptures, although death was possible, it was not at first necessary.
The LORD's (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) warning to the first humans (both of which the LORD called "Adam" - from the Hebrew word for man as a species, male and female; see Who Did God Call Adam? and How Long Was Adam Alone?; also Eve Was Created From Adam; What Woman Was Created From Jesus Christ?) was that if they rebelled and became sinners, they would then surely die. As we will read, they lived centuries after the day that they became sinners, so the LORD obviously did not mean that they would die at the moment that they became sinners, but that they would that day become subject to death - they would become unavoidably mortal.
"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 2:16-17 KJV)
Notice that when the first humans became sinners, they were immediately 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." Since they had already demonstrated their refusal to respect boundaries, the tree of life (see The Return Of The Tree Of Life) was guarded by "shoot to kill" Cherubims (it seems that another modern-man trait originated at that time also - most humans today respect only what they have very good reason to fear). From that time on, sinners were cut off from eternal life.
"3:22 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: 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 3:24 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." (Genesis 3:22-24 KJV)
Despite becoming renegades, pre-Flood humans lived to great ages (a testimony to the LORD's quality workmanship - the product could withstand very much foolish abuse from its user). Adam lived to age 930 (as explained, the "on that day" warning referred to being subject to death from that day, not on the day itself).
But how long would Adam have lived as a physical human in the Garden before being allowed to take of the tree of life (those trees were put there for a character-strengthening daily exercise) - after proving himself to be worthy?
Well, for example, a "free" feral cat lives about 2 or 3 years, while the same cat, if it had a good home, could live 20 years. Adam lived for centuries during his hard and miserable "life of freedom" outside the Garden, so it seems certain that he/they would have lived much longer in the Garden, during which or after he/they would have been allowed to become immortal.
Notice also the "death sentence" that the LORD declared when He kicked the rebels out: "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."
"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)
Noah and his family were the last to experience the ancient longevity. Just before the Flood (see Who Were The People Born After Each Of The Three Worldwide Floods?), the LORD further lessened the mortal existence of humans to a maximum of 120 years.
"6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3 KJV)
Fact Finder: What kind of sinners will be given eternal life?
This Day In History, February 7
457: Leo I became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire (the East Roman Empire). The Byzantine Empire was the Greek-speaking extension of the Roman Empire during the eras of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It faded away as the power of the German Empire grew (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1301: King Edward I of England revived the title of Prince of Wales and bestowed it on Edward of Caernarvon, who later became Edward II.
1550: Giovanni Maria del Monte was elected Pope Julius III (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1668: The Netherlands, England and Sweden signed a pact against Louis XIV of France.
1783: The Spanish and French Siege of Gibraltar was lifted after 4 years.
1792: Austria and Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) formed an alliance against France (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1807: The Battle of Eylau. Napoleon fought a fierce but indecisive battle against Russian and Prussian forces.
1867: The British North America Act, to create the Dominion of Canada, was introduced in the House of Lords by the Earl of Carnarvon.
1878: Pope Pius IX died. His nearly 32 year pontificate was the longest in the history of the Roman Catholic church. He was the inventor of the anti-Biblical dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" in 1854 (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).
1904: The biggest fire in the U.S. since the great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out in Baltimore. It destroyed over 2,500 buildings.
1913: The Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty in Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire and see the study Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration) lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1926: Average wage for common labour in U.S.: 54 cents per hour.
1935: The game Monopoly was invented.
1944: During the Second World War (1939-1945), German forces in Anzio, Italy launched a counteroffensive during the allied forces "Operation Shingle" (see also Anzio).
1962: As a face-saving gesture after the failed CIA-backed "Bay of Pigs" invasion (April 17 1961), the U.S. banned all Cuban imports and exports.
1976: Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs set a National Hockey League record by scoring 10 points in a single game.
1986: It rained sardines in Ipswich, Australia. Scientists speculated that a violent storm caused updrafts that lifted the fish out of shallow waters and took them into the atmosphere.
1986: President Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the Caribbean nation of Haiti, thereby ending 28 years of his family rule.
1990: The Soviet communist party under Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to surrender monopoly on political power after 70 years.
1992: European Community ministers formally signed the Maastricht Treaty of European Union (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1999: Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan following the death of his father, King Hussein (see also The Israel Of East Jordan).
2009: Bushfires in Victoria left 173 people dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia's history.