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Knowledge of Evil
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Knowledge  of  Evil
 
It was not the will of God that the sinless pair should know aught of evil. He had freely given them the good, and had withheld the evil. But, contrary to His command, they had eaten of the forbidden tree, and now they would continue to eat of it—they would have the knowledge of evil — all the days of their life. From that time the race would be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. Instead of the happy labor heretofore appointed them, anxiety and toil were to be their lot. They would be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally to death.   Patriarchs and Prophets, page 59.3  Read entire Chapter 3
 
 
In the Garden of Eden was the "tree of knowledge of good and evil. . . . And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat." Genesis 2:9-17. It was the will of God that Adam and Eve should not know evil. The knowledge of good had been freely given them; but the knowledge of evil, -- of sin and its results, of wearing toil, of anxious care, of disappointment and grief, of pain and death,-- this was in love withheld.  Education, page 23.2
 
 
There are many who become restless when they cannot know the definite outcome of affairs. They cannot endure uncertainty, and in their impatience they refuse to wait to see the salvation of God. Apprehended evils drive them nearly distracted. They give way to their rebellious feelings, and run hither and thither in passionate grief, seeking intelligence concerning that which has not been revealed. If they would but trust in God, and watch unto prayer, they would find divine consolation. Their spirit would be calmed by communion with God. The weary and the heavy-laden would find rest unto their souls if they would only go to Jesus; but when they neglect the means that God has ordained for their comfort, and resort to other sources, hoping to learn what God has withheld, they commit the error of Saul, and thereby gain only a knowledge of evil.  {PP 687.1}
 
Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man's lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only; for evil was everywhere present, marring earth and sea and air with its defiling touch. Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil. From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.  {CG 46.1}
 
"Your eyes shall be opened," the enemy had said; "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5. Their eyes were indeed opened; but how sad the opening! The knowledge of evil, the curse of sin, was all that the transgressors gained. There was nothing poisonous in the fruit itself, and the sin was not merely in yielding to appetite. It was distrust of God's goodness, disbelief of His word, and rejection of His authority, that made our first parents transgressors, and that brought into the world a knowledge of evil. It was this that opened the door to every species of falsehood and error.  {Ed 25.2}
 
God did not create evil, He only made the good, which was like Himself. But Satan would not be content to know the will of God and do it. His curiosity was on the stretch to know that which God had not designed he should know. Evil, sin, and death were not created by God; they are the result of disobedience, which originated in Satan. But the knowledge of evil now in the world was brought in through the cunning of Satan. These are very hard and expensive lessons; but men will learn them, and many will never be convinced that it is bliss to be ignorant of a certain kind of knowledge, which arises from unsatisfied desires and unholy aims. The sons and daughters of Adam are fully as inquisitive and presumptuous as was Eve in seeking forbidden knowledge. They gain an experience, a knowledge, which God never designed they should have, and the result will be, as it was to our first parents, the loss of their Eden home. When will human beings learn that which is demonstrated so thoroughly before them?  {5T 503.3}
 
The sin that leads to the most unhappy results is the cold, critical, unforgiving spirit that characterizes Pharisaism. When the religious experience is devoid of love, Jesus is not there; the sunshine of His presence is not there. No busy activity or Christless zeal can supply the lack. There may be a wonderful keenness of perception to discover the defects of others; but to everyone who indulges this spirit, Jesus says, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." He who is guilty of wrong is the first to suspect wrong. By condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. It was through sin that men gained the knowledge of evil; no sooner had the first pair sinned than they began to accuse each other; and this is what human nature will inevitably do when uncontrolled by the grace of Christ.  {MB 126.1}
 
 
Practical  Knowledge  of  Evil
 
Looking upon man, God saw his desperate rebellion, and He devised a remedy. Christ was His gift to the world for man's reconcilement. The Son of God was appointed to come to this earth to take humanity and by His own example to be a great educating power among men. His experience in man's behalf was to enable men to resist Satan's power. He came to mold character and to give mental power, to shed abroad the beams of true education, that the true aim of life might not be lost sight of. The sons of men had had a practical knowledge of evil; Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations.  {CT 33.3}
 
 
Age after age curiosity of man has led him to seek for the tree of knowledge; and often he thinks he is plucking fruit most essential, when, like Solomon, he finds it altogether vanity and nothingness, in comparison with that science of true holiness which will open to him the gates of the city of God. Human ambition has been seeking for that kind of knowledge that will bring self-exaltation and glory and supremacy. Thus Adam and Eve were worked upon by Satan, until God's restraint was snapped asunder, and their education under the teacher of lies began in order that they might have the knowledge that God had refused them,-- to know the consequences of transgression. The sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil; but Christ came to the world to show them that he had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations.  {GCDB, March 6, 1899 par. 10}
 
 
Looking upon man, God saw his desperate rebellion, and he devised a remedy. Christ was his gift to the world for man's reconcilement. The Son of God was appointed to come to this earth to take humanity, and by his own example be a great educating power among men. His experience in man's behalf was to enable men to resist Satan's power. He came to mold character and to give mental power, to shed abroad the beams of true education, that the true aim of life might not be lost sight of. The sons of men had had a practical knowledge of evil; Christ came to the world to show them that he had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations.  {RH, January 16, 1913 par. 6}
 
Human ambition has been seeking for that kind of knowledge that will bring to men self-exaltation and supremacy. Thus Adam and Eve were worked upon by Satan until God's restraint was snapped asunder, and their education under the teacher of lies began, in order that they might have the knowledge which God had refused them, -- a knowledge of the consequences of transgression. And since that time, the sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil; but Christ came to the world to show them that he had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, to elevate and ennoble our mental powers, so that our efforts in this life might not be misdirected and lost; and it is of the greatest consequence that every student in our schools obtain that knowledge which will enable him to co-operate with God in the grand work of forming a character after the divine pattern.  {YI, October 27, 1898 par. 4}
 
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