You are on page 1of 8

Mystery

of the
Two Trees

(thinkstock)
COPYRIGHT © 2015 PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD

he used a diagram on heart and core of the Bible. Armstrong years of in-depth thinking. the last few years of his life. But then he never creation? We know he was created a mature man stopped discussing the subject! with a wonderfully designed. despite the fact that years to understand it deeply. And … on this subject. 1985). Doesn’t this make you wonder: on them. was the strongest theme of his messages and literature in “Now … at my right is a chart of the tree of life and. and put him into the garden of Eden he needed to think about and discuss the subject even more! to dress it and to keep it. Armstrong’s 1984 the two trees more deeply than Herbert W. It took Mr. Then Mr. 1984. thou shalt began to comprehend the truth about the two trees. Mr. and everything comes from the root—is God. Armstrong became a mystery to Adam and Eve. Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely heartfelt prayer and dedicated Bible study before he really eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. saying. Armstrong admitted What was the very first piece of knowledge God taught that even as late as 1982. on the other attention to them. Armstrong shared his profound understanding of this two trees are even more mysterious—they have become a subject with us. We should thank God that they were taught this subject directly by God. Mr. virtually forgotten figment of mankind’s imagination. are four main branches off of that trunk. while discussing or even the spectacular ecosystem he was created to be a the subject over dinner with some ministers. He spent hours. he “hadn’t thought as much about [the tree of life] superseded all other knowledge such that it had to be the as I should. The mystery of the two trees remains the and riveting. thinking knowledge. This should stun our minds and help us begin to see how important this subject is to God. But his mind was completely devoid of understanding grew. How not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt well do we understand this subject? surely die. During a trip to South Africa in 1982. During a sermon in 1985. and the foundational knowledge stage to illustrate his description of the two trees. particularly the tree of life. He wanted the two trees to be at the W H AT A R E T H E T WO T R E E S? foundation of Adam and Eve’s existence and of the world that they would build! The teaching of the two trees is as deep as the oceans Events in Genesis 2 and 3 show that the two trees and as broad as the universe. Mr. Armstrong part of. knew nothing about God or the universe above him. but in 1982 God showed him that Lord God took the man. It sermon (emphasis ours throughout). Mr. But on February 4. Today. And the Lord God commanded It took Mr. hazy. the root of that tree—from which it gathers all Not until the last seven to eight years of his life did of its life. Armstrong. a blank slate. During this message. the Mr. God knows everything. Armstrong begin to deeply and profoundly understand the main trunk of the tree is the Spirit of God. It wasn’t until around 1978-79 that he began one side. Armstrong explained the symbolism of the two But our rejection of this knowledge does not make this trees regularly.Mystery of the Two Trees by gerald flurry and brad macdonald H ave you ever considered Adam’s mental state at to talk and write extensively about it. as I look at it. even days. And I didn’t realize I didn’t think about it either” first instruction put into the mind of Adam? (April 6. perfectly formed The more he meditated on the two trees.” The doctrine of the two trees is the premise of the The knowledge of the TWO TREES was the very first entire Bible! teaching God gave to Adam! Yet it could also be the most neglected and under- It was the most important piece of information Adam reported subject of the BIBLE! could know immediately after being created. he still was not devoting enough Remember. The four . the man. His mind was blank! So what subject did God believe realized. he delivered a truth any less important to God than it was the day He sermon in which his explanation was especially practical gave it to Adam. We have explaining human civilization. which you should look at as you No one in modern history understood the truth about consider the following excerpts from Mr. Armstrong had been talking about the You can read the answer in Genesis 2:15-17: “And the two trees since the late ’70s. Adam. though he had been talking about Adam? the two trees for years. hand. reproduced the diagram. the deeper his physical body.

Satan rejected God and decided for himself what was Mr. Armstrong often talked about making sure God. and The roots of the two trees are the most important part happiness. And then the various ways that it so simple to understand. 1983). Peace. unity. “Had from the tree of life. these two trees. God wanted to Can you fathom how different mankind’s existence see what root Adam would eat from because all of mankind would have been if Adam had eaten from the tree of life? was destined to eat from the same tree. Adam rejected this way of life for mankind when he turned But eating from the tree of death meant taking of fruit his back on the tree of life and ate the fruit of the tree of produced by the spirit of Satan. He would determine how large a tree can grow. or he could choose death. and of every kind of abundance and everything of this picture. of disharmony and disunity in every way. but no tree can survive without healthy roots! way and then to produce the fruit of peace. of competition. not quite so large because they are really what is wrong. and happiness. of bitterness. The roots He would have had the Spirit of the life of God. civilization would have been entirely different. and sometimes without love to fulfill that way—to give him the power to live that branches. … of opposition. what is right and major branches. and accomplishment. of vanity. The roots are the most important part of a “Now if Adam had taken of that fruit. our knowledge is founded on the right premise. “is Satan.” continued Mr. By eating of the wrong tree. During a sermon in 1983 about the two trees Mr. right beautiful and good for food. happiness. He had rejected the law of God. we build our knowledge: That’s why the knowledge of the . Eating from the tree of life meant obeying God. symbolized by “So from God flows life in the form of the Holy Spirit that the fruits hanging from the tree. of strife.” The two trees were a test of character.main branches are the first four of the Ten Commandments. in his 1984 sermon. or the tree of death. Then THE PR EMISE OF A LL K NOW LEDGE Mr. to give him the knowledge of that way—to give him the Trees can survive without fruit.” the trunk. And with life comes Adam rejected God on behalf of mankind! the knowledge of the way of life (of good and evil)—love Have you ever heard the two trees explained this way? toward God and love toward neighbor. flowing from the roots of the tree of life through toward fellow man. of envy. the other the tree of death. accepting joy. originating from Satan at its the knowledge of good and evil. and peace. God gave man a choice: He could leads to are the ways of competition. source of nourishment for the branches and fruit. is injected into those who take of this tree. “[T]he root of that tree. he would have eaten fruit produced by Adam taken of the proffered tree of life the whole course of the tree with God at its roots and received the Spirit of God. and that ends in death. Man chose death. health and abundance would have spread over the Earth. the other is the way of Satan. Adam made the choice that mankind was to be rotten. and they denote love of God. In other words. he rejected the fruits of the Spirit. The roots are the what came from the root and up through the trunk of the tree. Armstrong called it. and togetherness. right and wrong. Mr. Armstrong later wrote in Mystery of the Ages. what kind of fruit it produces and how much. Armstrong’s description make Genesis and the other branches are all of the other things that come under Garden of Eden so much more real? love toward God and love toward neighbor. and joy. And THE ROOTS the fruit borne you’ll see is … love. he would have taken tree: They anchor the tree to the ground. the last six of the Ten Commandments. Man had turned his back on the Holy Spirit not as important as those first four. of That decision underpins our human civilization! jealousy. Adam decided it would be man’s prerogative to decide for and they express love toward God. God closed off access to the tree of life after Adam and God wants the two trees to be the premise on which Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:22-24).” It’s said: “You have to go back to the origin and see how it that simple! all started. Adam made The tree of the knowledge of good and evil appeared it his prerogative to decide what was good and evil. If Adam had taken Mr. how many branches it have done the way of God—and [had] the Spirit of God can support. We have to get the premise right. Armstrong One is the way of God. and joy. that mankind could want. exalting the choose life. Then the very many Doesn’t Mr. and the spirit of Satan coming What happened on that day in the Garden of Eden is up through the trunk. but inside it was vile and and wrong. Armstrong influenced and led by the spirit of the devil. as roots. Armstrong concluded this section of the sermon: “The one tree was the tree of life. Think deeply about the symbolic meaning of the roots of and all of [the other fruits of God’s Holy Spirit]. By eating from Satan’s tree.” God’s revealed knowledge—obeying God’s law. other ways that you love God and that you love neighbor. Then there are six other himself what is good and what is evil. or else our Adam and Eve’s decision to reject the tree of life and partake conclusions based on that premise are going to be false” (July of the tree of Satan was the act that separated mankind from 30.” This was the course set for mankind when Adam ate from this tree. self even above God. Then it comes out to the branches and the final fruit. pictured by the Isn’t that a beautiful description of the tree of life? branches.

Tree of Life .

Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil .

1982. at that time. “I’ve been discussing for a great deal for the last year current events and even human nature. Think about that. Mystery more people complained and accused him of focusing too of the Ages.” he said. Well. about the human spirit. I hadn’t learned The point is. Mr. but gradually. He mentioned it a explanation of the human spirit in Mystery of the Ages makes few times in some of his writings from this time.6 Mystery of the Two Trees  •  key of david reprint series two trees was essentially the first piece of instruction Mr.  Armstrong began to understand other deep truths ago I began talking to you about the two trees. Armstrong said. for “harping on” the two little more new light that throws still more new light on … trees. with the two trees as his premise. and I said then that it seemed to me. “[T]hat spirit is of every book. the better we in another sermon. I thought the spirit of man is something in most profound. “Or is it. he connected Armstrong’d just quit hammering back. most comprehensive and powerful. Everything we do must be considered and viewed of God could join with his spirit. “If The two trees were at the heart of Mr. it couldn’t join with his big toe or his little fateful day in the Garden of Eden. That tired of hearing about the two trees. Back here about four. There he is back to those again. particularly possible importance. The two join together!” Then you will see that they permeate that entire masterpiece! Mr. his understanding at that understanding of the human spirit.” on October  16. then. unique and thrilling truths ever revealed. Armstrong’s in man doctrine around 1969 or 1970. and the it merely coincidence that God’s apostle began to write his man is not wholly physical!” he confirmed. “The third chapter is the mystery of man. Armstrong began to think about the spirit spirit combined with the human brain. that In Mystery of the Ages. the more joins with our human spirit. People ridiculed Mr. “Man is a mystery. The two trees are at the foundation of that rest of you is going to die. He addressed these goes into the spirit in man. world history.” Mr. He doesn’t understand himself. Armstrong’s he admitted in that 1985 sermon. “The real the spirit is no part of man at all” (April 6. God’s Spirit comes into us and it trees. Mr. Later in the same sermon. Armstrong’s Adam had taken of the Spirit—of the tree of life—he would spiritual success. Mr. It couldn’t join with the through the prism of Genesis and what happened on that physical brain. Armstrong gave the The more Mr. And I had seen prior to that time … about the spirit The doctrine about the human spirit is one of the in man. Ah I wish that kidnapped and is being held captive. Armstrong knew people were growing said. about the two trees. Armstrong for past year. We cannot understand Mystery of the Ages. The more you think about the two trees. That history explains the finger. five years Mr. “because [it] makes possible Chapter 3. Is that God created the first man with a spirit in him. going back to Genesis the spirit in man to the two trees. But. and how the whole world was mean anything to you?” he asked.” he said. “and some … very important Learning about the two trees can help us get to know our new knowledge has been revealed to this Church during the own hearts and minds. it all at once. value of a human life.” Again. because every bit of the very special way. God gave us a human chaotic universe around us! spirit so we could be united with God.” Mr. his most convincing. Mr. as And the two trees are the premise of Mr. man. the audience a summary of the book he was writing.” It was as if he could Those trees sit at the foundation of all spiritual hear the audience’s sighs of annoyance when he broached knowledge! Genesis and the two trees. Armstrong never quite explained the human spirit like that during the ’70s. and now I wonder if this afternoon you can bear a constantly going back to Genesis. It wasn’t until he began T H E T WO T R E E S E X P OSE S ATA N understanding the two trees that he put it that way.” He teaching opened doors for him to understand other profound then proceeded to give additional insight about the history truths of God? of man and the beginning of creation and new revelation During a sermon titled “Rely on God” in 1985. It wasn’t until Mr. Bible prophecies. Armstrong talked about the two trees. “We learn gradually. and I began of the Bible. seeing. Armstrong began to understand moving and thrilling work at a time when he was constantly the two trees that the doctrine of the human spirit became thinking about the two trees? absolutely clear in his mind! Notice: “Now the sole value of Mystery of the Ages and the two trees are connected in a human life is that [human] spirit. That people during a sermon on Atonement in 1981: “Does it goes into the sin of Adam. if we don’t understand the importance of the two a connection with God. but it could join with his spirit. They are at the foundation of godly have received the Holy Spirit of God! And the Holy Spirit education. During that book different from any other that he wrote. again. he began to think about it more and more. . if we can take a little more new knowledge. That means the two trees time wasn’t completely accurate. but did you know that understanding this fundamental this subject. “Aversion Therapy. lies solely within the human It appears Mr. will grasp other doctrines.” he much on Genesis. Armstrong made the connection between given to Adam. That goes into the two trees. the ’70s. Armstrong wrote.” he said. Armstrong began talking about the two trees again. 1985). “I finally had to come to see are at the foundation of Chapter 3 of Mystery of the Ages. understanding the two trees and receiving new revelation The more we understand the two trees.

jealous rage and. mankind could have God’s people to accuse. The Mr. amazingly God’s first instruction to mankind was about the two trees. violence. Satan grew furious because he knew existence. the knowledge of teach this knowledge to the world. The devil knew that God’s apostle would begin to symbolized the way of God. madly depressing. he would be eating the fruits created by the spirit of Satan. With this tree. the law of God. scorn and discredit Mr. Why? Because it exposes him and the fact that he is When Mr. Armstrong began to understand and talk the cause of mankind’s tainted. two trees should tell us how important the knowledge of under the influence of the devil. the harder the mind of God. Start your spiritual education by learning more about them.com/go/mystery. but I’m somewhat responsible for feeding understand what happened in the Garden of Eden they will you now that you’re here. Armstrong thrived on the fruits produced by the tree of life. They were also the first part of God’s truth that of God! Satan attacked! Satan’s perverted viewpoint about the two Do you think Satan was behind the sighs of annoyance trees was the first dissident message disseminated on Earth. was the tree of Satan­—the tree of death. what was right and what the two trees is to God! was wrong. painful about the two trees. a spirit of envy. The tree of life world. What happened in the Garden of Eden appears illogical. and the accusations (Revelation 12:10) and criticisms against Read the account at the beginning of Genesis 3. Armstrong for talking too much about Genesis and the teaching of the two trees was the first test mankind faced. joy and stability could Satan worked to counter his message. The have been given access to the Spirit of God and developed more Mr. If he made the decision to eat from this tree. T H E T WO T R E E S A N D YO U self-centered lust that results in sickness. Peace. ultimately. so he convinced some of God. he would for talking too much about Genesis and the two trees. This world is filled with evidence showing what tree God had created a spectacularly beautiful. You know that? God is going to see the truth about the devil! hold me responsible.key of david reprint series  •  Mystery of the Two Trees 7 But notice how he reacted to the naysayers: “You betcha! Adam ate from! I’ll go back to it again and again and again! I want to get Satan works tirelessly to snuff from existence knowledge you into the Kingdom of God with me! I didn’t call you in of the two trees because he knows that when people the first place. those two trees would expose his dictatorship over the Genesis reveals the history of the world. . That decision set the Satan hates the truth about the two trees with intense course of human civilization! passion. Satan’s first attack on man was on his understanding of the Adam would make it his prerogative to decide for himself. abundance. have encompassed the Earth. Armstrong discussed the two trees. The devil works hard to kill the knowledge about the The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The two trees were the first piece of instruction God gave Focusing on the two trees will get us into the Kingdom to Adam. two trees? Adam and Eve’s first major decision was to choose which No doubt he was! of the two trees they would eat from. what was good and what was evil. on the other two trees because he knows this truth will expose him! That hand. If Adam had eaten from that tree. Order our free book Mystery of the Ages by visiting theTrumpet. death. vanity.

because Satan has done a masterful and. job hiding the truth about the two trees. with its vast menagerie of flora and fauna subject to form the premise of Adam’s education. . and yielded her fruit every own problems? Why no peace in the world? month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the “We cannot understand the mystery of today’s events and nations.” the tree of life! The truth is. This should talk about the establishment of new Jerusalem and a time make us wonder: What’s wrong with this knowledge? of universe-wide peace and happiness—a time when “God The mystery of the two trees answers that fundamental shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 21 and 22. wars and conflict rage on. despite Satan’s vilest them and all mankind thereafter. our own minds. beginning with instruction see if we are going to eat from the tree of life. transplant hearts. attempts to cut it down. it’s making them worse. In them is The tree of life is a central theme of these two the answer to the great mystery of our time in this modern chapters! 20th century. God OPENS and CLOSES His Word by talking about confused present. yet paradoxically of appalling evils. He wanted this How important are they to you? This booklet is not to be sold. violence of death and start eating from the tree of life. All Rights Reserved. which crises are everywhere. and God wants to and educated him personally. our motivations and feelings. The pace with which mankind’s knowledge has increased They don’t know that eating from it will lead to developing is dumbfounding. with a vision of the tree of life. Revelation 22:2 is The baffling question today is. nor crying.8 Mystery of the Two Trees  •  key of david reprint series intricate planet. and there shall question. like Adam. teenage pregnancy and other societal him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. and is in the midst of the paradise of God” (verse 7). so have Spirit. conditions unless we go back to the very foundation of the It heals nations! world. “To divorce. God said that it would be this way in the mind of God and receiving the fruits of God’s Holy the end time. and stop consuming the is our number one concern. Mankind is eating from the wrong tree deeply flawed. why cannot the minds that even more specific: “In the midst of the street of it. has turned Their decision doesn’t make sense. and deeply consider Genesis and the given to Herbert Armstrong. was there the tree of life. Mankind. our emotions The two trees were the first piece of knowledge ever given and thoughts. It is a free educational service in the public interest. spirit of the devil. which produce computers and technological marvels. child abuse. Today we live in a world of awesome progress The tree of life is the “fountain of the water of life” and advancement. or if we are about the two trees. And God concludes the Bible two trees. In Revelation 2. that shall flow freely in new Jerusalem. Most people don’t even know that the tree of life exists. If you turn depression and mental illness are pervasive. neither sorrow. these problems. God’s Word shows you can stop eating from the tree mankind’s problems. Here’s how Mr. incomplete. It’s powerfully obvious that God wanted Adam to understand the two trees before the two trees are critically important to God. easily misled and swayed. But doesn’t it tell its back on the tree of life and is gorging itself on the fruits us something about the human mind? The human mind is of the tree of death. and learn what developed from its origin to the pulsating. the theme of the Bible— We cannot understand this world if we don’t from beginning to end—is the tree of life being opened understand the two trees! to mankind! This applies personally: You and I cannot understand The entire Bible is based on the premise of the two trees. why we act the way we do. above all. he and Eve acquired any further knowledge. Instead. going to follow Adam and the rest of civilization and eat Yet they still decided to eat from the tree of death! from the tree of death. © 2015 Philadelphia Church of God. The two trees were the foundation of revelation to where it all began. Printed in the United States of America Scriptures in this publication are quoted from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. trees explains the very foundation of the world. Armstrong explained it in Mystery be no more death. God will open the tree of life to you! You’d think mankind’s knowledge explosion would solve The last two chapters of the Bible. Then He created man The two trees is a test of our character. and on can learn to fly to the moon and back. painfully ignorant and doesn’t even know it. solve their bare twelve manner of fruits. physical and mathematical laws. Then the knowledge of the two trees became a mystery to The tree of life still lives today. neither shall of the Ages: “The real significance of these two symbolic there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4). if we don’t look to Adam. economic catastrophe looms. either side of the river. But as this knowledge has increased. God wants operating in a climate and system governed by complex the two trees to form the premise of our education.” The tree of life sits at the center of new Jerusalem. too. and crime blanket the Earth. Even the world around us should teach us this lesson. Human survival your back on the tree of death. God told the Ephesus Church era. Hunger and disease prevail.