There are many interpretations of what happened in The Garden from which our ancestors were expelled. People wonder what was the forbidden fruit. The forbidden fruit may not have been a species of fruit at all. Whatever it was, it was borne on the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Also in The Garden was a tree of Life.
I find it reasonable to think Adam and Eve regularly ate from the tree of Life. The first mention of death in the Bible is found in Genesis 2:16-17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.' ”
Death had not yet entered the world. No one can tell us, because no human knows, if The Garden and the trees in question are literal or metaphorical. So what precipitated their ejection from The Garden? Was it eating the fruit which was forbidden them? Perhaps so.
The record shows they were ejected to prevent them from eating from the other tree, the tree of Life. Had they been allowed to remain in The Garden after disobeying God's command, they would have continued to eat of the tree of Life and live having the knowledge of Good and Evil.
For whatever reason, and I have not discovered it, God would not allow them to eat from both trees. It was one or the other. In other passages we learn that rebellious angels, and their leader, were thrown out of heaven and down to earth. Adam and Even were thrown out of The Garden and into the world.
We may theorize these things from the record:
 God, being the supreme authority and creator of all that is, will not tolerate rebellion from any being He has created. All beings except Himself as a Trinity were created by Him/Them. There can be but one final authority. It is God.
 While in The Garden, Adam and Eve had life as long as they were sustained by the tree of Life. They lived in a protected environment of some sort, immune to the effects of natural law in the world. Once they were in the world, they were subject to death.
 Satan and his minions, though presently alive and active in the world, are also under sentence of death and final destruction in a metaphorical (or real) lake of fire. It took time for Adam and Eve to physically die. Fallen angels are a different kind of being, but they will also die after the time for their existence expires.
What, or who, was the serpent in The Garden ?
A littoral snake?
In a tree?
Snakes climb trees in our time. They climb especially to get and eat bird eggs. I have pruned a bougainvillea in which a black snake was comfortably ensconced until my clippers came too close. It dropped straight down to the ground and slithered off at speed.
God cursed the serpent and told it in the future it would move on its belly and have dust in its mouth. Coincidentally, man was made from dust. The serpent in The Garden was able either to talk in a language Eve could understand, or it used telepathy to communicate with her, or communicated in some other manner you might know but I do not.
In any case, the serpent lied to Eve, thus persuading her that she would NOT die if she ate fruit from the tree of Knowledge. She believed the serpent instead of God.
This IS the actual original sin.
She did not believe God. Adam accepted her offer to partake of forbidden something, then the curses came down upon the earth and its inhabitants. Everything here dies. Everything except the Spirit of Life put into humankind by God.
This Spirit, when regenerated, comes to life; permanent life.
The only way to regenerate God's spirit in a human is to reverse the effects of Adam and Eve's sin; the sin of unbelief.
The Spirit is regenerated in a man or woman when he or she does the opposite of what Adam and Eve did ... when they BELIEVE.
Therein lies the insoluble problem.
God solved His side of the equation by allowing Himself to be incarnated as a God-Man whom we know as Jesus. Jesus told us all we need to know. Essentially, everything he told us is summed up in the words "BELIEVE in God and believe in me also."
He offered PROOF of what we are to believe.
We are to believe that HE was sent by God to regenerate the Spirit in us, if we will believe. His suffering and death on the cross was a demonstration of the POWER of belief, given to us as example for our instruction.
HE is the key to this puzzle.
"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-19 (NIV, ©2011)
In His own words, He, the man Jesus, tells us He has authority to lay down and take up His life again. Not that GOD would raise Him from the dead, but that He Himself would take up His life again.
“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” Mark 10:33-34 (NIV, ©2011)
If you have paid close attention to the Scriptures, you know that when He appeared after His resurrection, he was not always recognizable as being the same in appearance as the body in which He died. He performed the miracle of self resurrection to show us the way.
He came so that we may recognize the existence of the eternal living spirit within ourselves.
He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’" Luke 8:10
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3
Jesus died, then He was born again, just as he foretold, and just as we will do if we believe what He has said. This is WHY He came; to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God where those who believe shall reside in a new form, eternally sustained by a metaphorical tree of Life, the fruit of which is the Word and Presence of God. Apart from God, nothing can live. With God, all things are possible.
Sagaverus April 2011