The Bible indicates that Satan “peddled” his principle of iniquity throughout the universe. This means that every living creature was con- fronted with the same option to either accept or reject his law.

The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes; they were noble, majestic, and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was, “We have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth.” Then I saw two trees, one looked much like the tree of life in the city. The fruit of both looked beautiful, but of one they could not eat. They had power to eat of both, but were forbidden to eat of one. Then my attending angel said to me, “None in this place have tasted of the forbidden tree; but if they should eat, they would fall” {EW 39.3, emphasis added}.

Everyone in God’s universe had the opportunity to choose between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This speaks volumes for the freedom God grants to all His creatures. One by one all the worlds rejected Satan’s proposals except for one third of the angels who had been under his command. When God created the earth, Satan must have watched eagerly; he must have hoped this would be his big break. He was in Eden, and as in other worlds, his principle was veiled under the symbol of a tree.

You were in Eden, the garden of God… (Ezekiel 28:13, emphasis added).

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

On the sixth day of creation Satan must have watched God forming Adam out of the ground. He must have waited for the right moment and opportunity to entice him to partake of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He also must have heard God warning Adam about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and his heart must have sunk at the sound of God’s words:

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:15-18, emphasis added).

God created Adam first and then gave him dominion of the earth. He was to rule it with agape, as a loving, faithful servant. He was to be the father of mankind, the protector of his progeny and of the vast array of living creatures that populated the earth, the air and the waters.

God created all the animals before He made Eve. He then brought them to Adam, who named each one:

Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him (Genesis 2:19-20).

As Adam named the animal kingdom, he observed how God had made them male and female. He realized that among all the living creatures of the earth “there was not found a helper comparable to him”—and his heart sank. There was a hole in his heart and no one suitable to fill it—God wanted him to realize this. God wanted Adam to realize that the purpose of life was relationship—loving relationship. Then “God saw that it was not good for man to be alone,” and He created Eve.

Eve was to be Adam’s companion, helper and aid. She was to be a source of great joy to the entire earth. As a mother, she would be the vessel through which the earth would be populated—“be fruitful and multiply.”

God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”—a helper corresponding to him—one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self; showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one” {AH 25.3, emphasis added}.

Eve would reap the benefits of Adam’s service and labor, and while she was to join him in caring for the earth and its future population, the responsibility for the security of the earth rested strongly on his head.

It was to Adam that God had given the warning about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After Eve was created Adam relayed the warn- ing to her—but God had given the admonition directly to him, not her.

Satan knew he would have a better chance of success if he approached the woman when she was alone. When Eve left her husband’s side and approached the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the right moment had arrived, and Satan sprang into action under the guise of a serpent.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-4).

The fundamental lie of the serpent, the lie that steered the human race onto the wrong track altogether, was the statement that God knew Good and Evil, meaning that God operated by Good and Evil, that His character was a mixture of both Good and Evil.

The serpent had one purpose and one purpose only: to convince Eve to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He knew that if he could get her to do so, Adam would most likely follow suit. If he could get the couple to directly disregard God’s warnings regarding this Tree, their disobedience would place him, Satan, as the ruler of the earth—he would automatically step into Adam’s position of dominion. Then he could establish on earth the principles he had developed in heaven. Since he had been rejected by all the other worlds in the universe, the earth, the Garden of Eden, was his last

chance to find a realm in which to establish the principles of his kingdom. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a symbol of Satan’s “throne of iniquity that devises evil by law.” This Tree did not possess supernatural powers. The two Trees in the midst of the Garden represented two opposite principles—God’s principle of life, the moral law of agape love, and Satan’s principle of death, the moral law of reward

and punishment, the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life possessed supernatural powers:

The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man’s disobedience death entered the world. Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the fruit of which he had been forbid- den to touch. This was his test. He failed, and his transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our world {MM 233.5, emphasis added}.

However, the Tree was a type, a symbol of Jesus, “the one great Source of immortality:”

The tree of life was a type of the one great Source of immortality. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving, vivifying power that gladdens the soul. Through sin man shut himself off from access to the tree of life. Now, life and immortality are brought to light through Jesus Christ…. {MM 233.6, emphasis added}.

The Tree of Life was also a “source of knowledge of which” Jesus’ broth- ers (Christ’s human family, a type of humanity) “were ignorant” of:

They [JESUS’ BROTHERS] recognized that His education was of a higher type than their own. But they did not discern that He had access to the tree of life, a source of knowledge of which they were ignorant {DA 86.2, emphasis added}.

Ultimately, Jesus’ words, life, and death, are the Tree of Life:


“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,” says Christ, “hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me…. It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” This is eating the fruit of the tree of life (Manuscript 112, 1898) – {5BC 1135.8, emphasis added}.

Humanity had been ignorant of the Tree of Life, Christ’s “source of knowledge.” Christ came to earth to give us that knowledge so that we may have life. Jesus, therefore, is the greatest treasure anyone could ever possess.

The two Trees in the Garden also represent two paths: the path of blessings/ life and the path of curses/death. God had intended that only the Tree of Life principle be used for governing His universe because God loves His creatures and wants to be with them throughout eternity. He wants eternal life for us.

And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak (John 12:50).

It is crucial that we understand the two Trees in the Garden or we will not be able to differentiate between God and Satan’s activities. Issues of life and death hinge on these two Trees and the moral laws they represent. Only when we see the difference between them will we be able to understand the complete truth about God’s heart and the extent and nature of Lucifer’s wickedness.

The Creator visibly separated the two laws contending for supremacy by giving each a representative Tree. Satan did not create his Tree. In the Garden, the Tree that represented the “wisdom,” or Knowledge of Good and Evil, was a physical Tree and the physical Tree was not deadly because God had created it. And since everything God creates is good, the literal, physical Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was also good. This Tree was, physically speaking, “good for food” and “pleasant to the eyes.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (Genesis 3:6, emphasis added).

This Tree had to be created by God because Satan cannot create any- thing—he is not a creator. Physically speaking, then, this was not a deadly Tree. Eve saw that it was “good for food” and “pleasant” to the eyes just like any other tree in the Garden. What was lethal about this particular Tree is the fact that besides being a test of obedience it also represented a deadly principle, and by eating of it, the couple gave themselves over to Satan and his deadly principle. They chose him as their teacher and ruler, and by doing so, they unwittingly chose his principle of iniquity also. It was thus that Satan became the god of this world:

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6, emphasis added).

The fact that Eve thought the fruit of this Tree was “desirable to make one wise” indicates that there is more to it than just a literal meaning. How can a fruit, or a tree, made of roots, trunk, branches and leaves “make one wise”? It can’t. Thus the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has to be a symbol representing a principle…a principle that appears to be wise… that even boasts to be wiser than God and His principle of agape love… but which is deceptive and lethal—“the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” Such a Tree can have an appeal for “wisdom,” a certain desirability to make one wise.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represented Satan’s throne of iniquity—his corrupt government. The moment Eve ate of it, Satan took command of the situation and claimed her as a subject of his king- dom. He began teaching her to see the world—and God—though shades of Good and Evil—light and darkness. Thus, Eve began knowing Good and Evil. Then Satan used her to seduce and entice her husband to also eat.

Adam must have been extremely distraught by his wife’s choice. He must have thought back on God’s warning that eating from this Tree would bring death, and must have weighed this against the thought of losing his wife. It must have been a fierce, painful struggle. Finally, he caved in and decided to join her, regardless of the consequences. This one decision opened the door for Satan to take control of the earth. Adam and Eve’s unfortunate choice gave him the territory he needed in order to establish his kingdom and law.

Now the earth would be ruled by “iniquity.” But God would not leave the human race to perish under this destructive system with- out coming to the rescue. His Spirit would also work with mankind. From now on, there would be two principles, two moral laws, struggling for supremacy in every beating heart:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

The two principles would be “the law of the Spirit of life,” agape love, and “the law of sin and death,” the Knowledge of Good and Evil. These are the “two antagonistic motives:”

The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme, of God’s original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found {Ed 190.2, emphasis added}.

The above quote places the two laws or principles that are “contending for supremacy” at the heart of the great controversy. This brings to light the enormous significance of the two Trees in the Garden, and their central role in the great controversy between God and Satan.

We should learn how these two principles enter “into every phase” of our “human experience.” “How in every act of life” we reveal “the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives.” And how, whether we so will or not, we are “even now deciding upon which side of the controversy” we “will be found.” These are words filled with significance. But how can we make a decision between these two laws, if we don’t know what they are?

Not many would believe that Lucifer has a specific law with which he meant to replace God’s law of love. Much less would we think that he would have a moral law, of all things. Many believe that the alternative he had to God’s law was simply “lawlessness,” that is, lack of law altogether—“Do as thou wilt,” as Satanists and spiritualists say.

But we must allow the Bible to define the word “lawlessness” and not simply rely on our conventional understanding of this word. We must also be careful not to believe anything that comes from the mouth of a Satanist, because like their leader, they are filled with deception. They most definitely would not want us to know the truth about the two Trees because it would expose their deception. They would rather we believe that “lawlessness” means no law at all—“do as thou wilt.”

We also need to understand that our “will,” if unsanctified by God’s agape love, is ruled entirely by Satan’s “law of sin and death.” Every person born on this earth is born with a sinful nature—we are born “in Adam,” in the “flesh.” This means we are all born with a moral character that is governed by Satan’s moral law of Good and Evil. Thus, if we indeed “do as we will,” we will actually default into our fallen nature and will in fact be operating by the law of iniquity that Satan introduced in the Garden of Eden. Relying solely on our “will” brings us full circle back to Satan’s moral law of Good and Evil:

Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. “Ye shall be as gods,” he declares, “knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 Spiritualism teaches “that man is the creature of progression … toward the Godhead.” And again: “The judgment will be right, because it is the judgment of self. … The throne is within you.” And another declares: “Any just and perfect being is Christ” {HF 339.4}.

Thus Satan has substituted the sinful nature of man himself as the only rule of judgment. This is progress, not upward, but downward. Man will never rise higher than his standard of purity or goodness. If self is his loftiest ideal, he will never attain to anything more exalted. The grace of God alone has power to exalt man. Left to himself, his course must be downward {HF 340.1, emphasis added}.

Lucifer’s moral law represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the moral law into which every human being is born. As we continue we will learn exactly how this law has affected all of our relationships, including our relationship to God.