Questions From Readers
● Would Adam and Eve in Eden ever have been permitted to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad?—D. A., United States.
After quoting Genesis 2:15-17, the book “New Heavens and a New Earth” says on pages 72 and 73: “According to this, man would not die for not eating from the tree of knowledge but would die for eating from it while prohibited.” This implies that the time would come when the eating of this fruit would not be prohibited. This tree symbolized the power or ability to determine and decree what is good and bad. After Adam and Eve had proved their obedience to Jehovah over a period of time and had shown a conformity with God’s judgment as to what was good and what was bad, after they had absorbed the divine principles governing right as against wrong conduct, then it may be that Jehovah would have permitted them to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad. This would show that their training under God had equipped them to do this in harmony with God’s judgment of such matters and that they could now correctly determine what was good and what was bad.
But Adam and Eve did not wait, did not experience the necessary period of training and divine instruction, and they failed the test when they ran ahead of Jehovah and ate of the then forbidden fruit. So they never did come to the point where they could properly judge or determine with sureness what was good and what was bad. Nor have their descendants, who inherited sin and imperfection. In the Scriptures there is nothing to show that with the restoration of the earthly paradise under God’s kingdom by Christ the “tree of the knowledge of good and bad” will be restored to test mankind. As page 352 of the above-mentioned book says: “The test on earth will not be by any replanted ‘tree of the knowledge of good and bad’. By the close of the millennium perfected humankind will have gone through good and bad by actual experience. The test will be by means of the same one that led mankind astray at the beginning of their history, Satan the Devil, together with his demons.”
● Concerning Christ Jesus it is written at Isaiah 11:10 (AS): “And his resting-place shall be glorious.” Does this resting place refer to the sabbath rest during the thousand-year reign of Christ?—J. H., United States.
This does not refer to the sabbath rest, but to the heavenly abode of Christ Jesus. During his ministry on earth Jesus did not have a permanent abode, but said: “Foxes have dens and birds of heaven have roosts, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay down his head.” (Matt. 8:20, NW) In contrast, Jesus has a glorious resting place in heaven. A similar use of resting place as an abode is found at Ruth 3:1 (NW): “Naomi her mother-in-law now said to her: ‘My daughter, ought I not to look for a resting place for you, that it may go well with you?’” In saying this Naomi was taking steps to get a permanent home or abode for Ruth. So at Isaiah 11:10 the glorious resting place for Christ refers to his place of heavenly abode.