Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. What was the forbidden fruit? I have been told that it was sex.
 
A. There are all kinds of weird ideas concerning the forbidden fruit.  Theologians have argued for centuries about the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Were they literal trees with literal fruit or simply symbolic of something else?

The Bible is very clear on this point.

Genesis 2, verses 8 and 9 states that God planted a garden in Eden and in the garden he caused 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” (verse 9).  Nothing could be plainer.  The tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were literal trees.

What type of fruit did these trees produce?  The Bible simply does not say.  The fable that the forbidden fruit was an apple that lodged in Adam’s throat is just that--a fable!

Was the forbidden fruit symbolic of sex as you were told?  Absolutely not!  God is the creator of marriage and reproduction.  Genesis 1:28 reads “and God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…”  God would not have told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and then label the reproductive process sin!  For God to do this does not make sense.

Marital sex is not evil or sinful.  It is good (Gen. 1:31).  In Hebrews 13:4 we are told “marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled…”  This verse plainly refers to the sexual relationship within marriage.

The first sin was a matter of disobedience to God’s instructions.  God used two literal trees to test Adam to see whether or not he would obey his Creator.  The tree of life which was feely offered to Adam and Eve symbolized the availability of God’s Holy Spirit.  If Adam and Eve would have eaten the fruit of this tree, God would have given them His Holy spirit and ultimately eternal life.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, symbolized disobedience.  When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of this tree, their disobedience cut them off form the Creator and they embarked on a course of false education that produced sin and death.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit, “the eyes of them both were opened” and they became ashamed of their nakedness.  But to assume sex was involved in the devil’s tempting is to read something into Genesis 3:7 which simply is not there!  They were ashamed mentally because they had disobeyed their loving Creator.  They now felt vulnerable, ashamed and sinful. They wanted to run and hide from God who had made them and given the life (Gen. 3:7-11).

They were also ashamed physically due to Satan’s doctrine that sex is shameful.  It was Satan who had given Eve the idea that there was something shameful about their nakedness!  Notice God said, “who told thee that thou was naked?...” (verse11).  The only other “who” around at that time was Satan the devil!
 
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