THE MEANING OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL
The two trees were put in the Garden of Eden to symbolize two separate kingdoms: the serpent’s kingdom of death and the Creator’s kingdom of life. They were put in the “midst” of the Garden for a very strategic reason: because they represent the core of the dispute between the Creator and the serpent, and as such, they are there in the center, “in the midst” of the Garden. The fact that they were in the very midst of the Garden means that they were the central issue between God and Satan.
The world has been eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for six thousand years. We must all choose whether we want to continue eating of it, or whether we want start eating from the Tree of Life. The time has come to make this choice. This study will help the reader to make an informed decision.
1. What is sin?
a. 1 John 3:4—”Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
2. Where did sin originate?
a. Ezekiel 28:16—“By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned.”
b. Sin began in the covering cherub, Lucifer.
c. This means that Satan’s original deviation from God was a deviation from His law because “sin is the transgression of the law.”
3. What is God’s law?
a. Matthew 22: 35-40—God’s law is love for God and neighbor
b. Mark 12: 28-34
c. Romans 13:8—“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
4. What was Lucifer’s character like before he sinned?
a. Ezekiel 28:15—” You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.”
i. Lucifer was “perfect” in all his “ways” when he was created.
ii. In Hebrew “perfect,” tâmı̂ym, means “entire,” undivided, without spot, without blemish.
iii. The lamb that represents Jesus is tâmı̂ym: Exodus 12: 5. A lamb without any spots, undivided, without blemish.
iv. Jesus said we are to be “perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.” In what context did He say that? Loving everyone the same way, even enemies.
5. What does “ways” mean?
a. Ways in Hebrew is derek. Derek means “a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action” (Strong’s Concordance).
b. The Complete Word Study: “this word is most often used metaphorically to refer to the pathways of one’s life, suggesting the pattern of life” (Pro 3:6)
6. “Course of life” or “mode of action” refers to a moral code, ethics, or moral law.
7. Lucifer had an “entire,” undivided moral code until “iniquity” was found in him.
a. If his character was undivided before iniquity was found in him, then what happened to his character when iniquity was found in him?
b. What is the opposite of “entire” and undivided?
8. Where in the Garden of Eden do we find something that is “divided”?
9. Jesus said: ““Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand,” Matthew 12:25.
a. In light of this statement, can God’s kingdom be divided?
b. If God’s kingdom were divided would it be an eternal kingdom?
10. Will Satan’s kingdom, represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, be brought to desolation? Will it stand the test of time? If not, why not?
11. Who was associated with the “divided” Tree, God or the serpent?
12. How did the serpent deceive Eve?
a. 2 Corinthians 11:3—“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
b. What did Satan do to Eve’s mind?
c. What does “simplicity” mean in Greek?
d. Strong’s Concordace—”haplotēs: singleness, that is, (subjectively) sincerity (without dissimulation or self seeking), or (objectively) generosity (copious bestowal): bountifulness, liberal (-ity), simplicity, singleness.”
e. What is “in” Christ?
13. Do the words “singleness” and “perfect” have anything in common?
14. Where in the Bible is God’s “singleness” addressed?
a. Deuteronomy 6:4—“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
b. This verse is known by the Jews as the shema.
c. What is the importance of this verse for the Jews?
15. How important was this verse, the shema, for Jesus?
a. Mark 12:28-31—“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
16. What does “iniquity” mean?
a. Hebrew: ‛evel ‛âvel ‛avlâh ‛ôlâh ‛ôlâh
b. From H5765; (moral) evil: iniquity, perverseness, unjust, unjustly, unrighteousness, unrighteously, wicked, wickedness).
c. Is iniquity is moral evil?
17. How does Jesus feel about Satan’s moral law of iniquity?
a. Hebrews 1:8-9—“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness [KJV: INIQUITY];
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
18. If righteousness is Jesus’ moral law, then is iniquity also a moral law? Whose moral law is it?
19. Is there any iniquity in God?
a. Deuteronomy 32:4—”He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
20. Since iniquity originated in Lucifer—it was found in him—then his throne is a throne of iniquity:
a. Psalm 94:20: “Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You?”
21. What does “devises” mean?
a. Devises: Hebrew yâtsar: “(through the squeezing into shape); to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figuratively to determine (that is, form a resolution): earthen, fashion, form, frame, make
b. Lucifer moulds, frames evil into a law.
22. What kind of law does the throne of iniquity frame evil into law? A moral law?
23. Does the bible talk anywhere about Satan’s moral law?
a. Romans 7: 23: “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
b. Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
24. Where is the very specific place where sin and death originated on earth?
a. Genesis 2: 16-17—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.”
25. Is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil “entire” like the spotless Lamb, or is it divided, dualistic?
26. Is Good and Evil a mixture of light and darkness?
27. Does God have a mixture of “light” and “darkness”?
a. 1 John 1:5—”This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
b. What is the specific “message” that Jesus came to give us?
c. Does God have any darkness in Him “at all”?
28. What do the words “perfect,” “singleness,” the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), and the fact that there is no darkness “at all” in God have in common? What do these concepts tell us about the character of God?
29. Does the Tree of Life have a mixture of “light and darkness”?
30. Does the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil have a mixture of “light” and “darkness”?
31. What does “light” represent in the Bible?
a. Job 33:30—”To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.”
b. Psalm 36:0—” For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
c. John 1:4—”In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
d. John 8:12—”Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
32. What does “darkness” represent in the Bible?
a. Job 3:5—”May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it.”
b. Job 10:21—” Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death.”
c. Psalm 107:10—” Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons.”
d. Matthew 4:16—”The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
33. How did death enter the world?
a. Romans 5:15—”For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”
b. Romans 5:17—”For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
c. Romans 5:19—” For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
d. How many were made sinners? How many will be made righteous?
34. What is God’s relationship to death?
a. 1 Corinthians 15:26—”The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
b. Psalm 68:20—”Our God is the God of salvation; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”
c. Proverbs 11:19—”As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.”
d. Isaiah 25:8—”He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.”
e. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10—”Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.”
f. 2 Timothy 1:8-10—”Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
35. Who has the power of death?
a. Hebrews 2:14-15—”Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
36. What is the sting of death?
a. 1 Corinthians 15:56—”The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”
37. Which law is the strength of sin, God’s moral law of love, or Satan’s moral law of Good and Evil? Which Tree would kill, if eaten from?
a. Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
38. What is God’s true essence and character?
a. 1 John 4:8—”He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.”
b. 1 John 4:7—”Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.”
c. 1 John 4:10—”Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
d. 1 John 4:16—”And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
e. 1 John 4:20—”If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
39. Is God’s love perfect?
a. 1 John 4:18—”There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has to do with torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”
40. According to the verse above, can there be fear in God’s perfect love?
41. According to the same verse, what does fear have to do with?
42. What is torment in GreeK?
b. Strong’s Concordance—”penal infliction: punishment, torment.”
c. The Complete Word Study—”Kolasis conveys the notion of punishment for the correction and bettering of the offender.”
43. If God is perfect love, then, according to the definition of Kolasis, can God punish?
44. Does Satan punish?
a. Job 1:7—”And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
45. What is the meaning of “to and fro” and “back and forth”?
a. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon—”Scourge, Whip: A whipping or lashing out at someone or something out of hatred or punishment.”
46. What is the meaning of “back and forth”?
a. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon—”shepherd staff,” “staff in the palm.” A nomad traveled on foot with a staff in his hand to provide support in walking as well as a weapon to defend against predators or thiefs.”
47. Was Satan ruling the entire earth with a reward (Good) and punishment (Evil) system?
48. In the Bible Pharaoh is a type of Satan. What two instruments does Pharaoh hold in in his hands, with crossed arms? (Search google picture of Tutankhamun).
a. What other organizations use the symbols of the crook (reward) and flail (punishment)?
49. If there is no punishment in God’s love, can God operate in any way through the principles of the serpent’s Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
50. What is your reaction to a God who is only love, and who does not punish?