Genesis 202
Lesson Ten
Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil


Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


Now, from this point forward, God focuses all of His attention on telling us about the "Man" He created. Here we will learn a few more details about how God created things. The first thing we want to look at is this "tree" that God put in the garden. This tree is called, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". First notice that the tree is not good or evil. The fruit is not good or evil, and, except for God's command not to eat of it, there is no indication that the fruit itself is good or evil. Notice that it is called the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. Here is a truth that many find hard to grasp. Good and Evil already existed. The potential for good and evil anyway. In Isaiah 45:7 we read, "I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."  In fact, evil (sin) existed when Lucifer and a third of the Angels rebelled against God in heaven and was kicked out. This was the actual first act of sin recorded in the bible.

 

Now, what should be noted is that God did not make anyone do evil. He did not force it on us nor did He desire anyone to fall into evil. However, for us to have free will to choose to love and follow God we had to have a choice. If there were no options, there would be no choices, and if no choices, no free will. Another point to consider is that without the knowledge of evil, you would have no knowledge of good either. Hot would cease to be hot if there was no cold to compare it to. There would be no "up" without a "down", nor could there be "good" without an "evil" to compare it to. So, in this sense, God did create evil, BUT, it was mans choice to follow evil. The fallen world we live in is a result of mankind choosing evil over good. Verses 15-17 tell us that God put man in the "very good" creation that He had made, and gave man one command. "Don't eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil".

 

All of the other trees they could eat from, but not that one. The "potential" for good and evil was already there. The ability to disobey God was already there, but as yet, no evil had been done so everything was "good". By eating of this tree, the KNOWLEDGE of these two factors (good and evil) would become apparent. The "evil" was not in eating that particular fruit, the evil was in disobeying God...that was the sin.... disobedience. The command could have been anything.... "don't pick up that one rock", "Don't pet that one animal"... anything. But there had to be a choice, a decision to obey God or not, and if they had obeyed God, they never would have KNOWN good or evil... It was the "act" that brought about the knowledge, not the object of the act.

 

Romans 5:13 tells us, "For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed where there is no law". We use this verse many time to argue the point that babies and people with mental issues and those who have never heard the Gospel will go to heaven. They have no knowledge of sin. The sin is there, but they have no knowledge of it, therefore sin is not imputed to them. It was the same in the garden, they had no knowledge of sin because there had been no law given. They had the choice to obey God or not, and when they did not, the Knowledge of sin entered, and then sin was imputed.

 

Another point to consider here is that the "knowledge" of sin, does not make one a sinner. God said in Genesis 3:22, "behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil...". God knows good and evil, but is not a sinner. The difference is that man chooses to sin. We know what is good and what is evil and we choose to do evil. Once we reach an age where we know what we are doing is good or evil, then sin is imputed to us.

 

Then, the last part of verse 17 must also be addressed. "for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die".  The wages of sin is death Scripture tells us. The death specifically talked about here is a "spiritual" death. They obviously did not die physically, but they did die spiritually. This is evident in the fact their fellowship with God died. After they disobeyed God, the first thing they did was hid themselves from God. They died spiritually and did not want to fellowship with Him anymore. We will see this in later verses. However, they did not die physically. Apparently, according to Genesis 3:22, if they had eaten of the tree of life, they never would have died physically. This is why God kicked them out of the garden. He did not want them living eternally in their sins. He wanted to have a way to redeem them back to Himself. This is what happens at salvation (Praise the Lord). We are "born again". 

 

At salvation, our spirit is quickened (made alive) (Read Colossians 2:13), and we are able to now fellowship with God again. Now, because of sin, we do also die physically. That to will be made right, but not at salvation, but at the resurrection when we put off mortality and put on immortality. Without salvation through Jesus Christ, we will remain dead spiritually and we will physically die eternally as well. Total separation from God for all eternity. What a hell that will be. "Behold, today is the day of salvation". If you are not 100% certain you are born again and are a child of God, do not close your eyes in sleep until you know for sure. Contact me, and I will take whatever time is needed to help you reach that point.
 

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.