Proverbs 1:31 tells us what happened in the Garden of Eden
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1)
The paradise of God is described in Gen. 2; lost in Gen. 3; its restoration spoken of by the Lord in Luke 23:43; seen in a vision by Paul, 2 Cor. 12:2,4; promised in Rev. 2:7; restored , Rev. 22:1-5, 14-17.
In Genesis, in the garden of Eden, we find two trees standing in the "midst" of the garden called: "the tree of life" and "the tree of knowledge of good and evil".
The Lord gives a command for our good, and we can be obedient (which is proving good) or disobedient (revealing what is evil). The command God gave in the garden was, "But the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen. 2:17).
We read in Revelation "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life...." (Rev. 22:14). Zoe = life in all its manifestations; it is life that is the opposite of death. It involves eternal life and is a "gift of God" (Rom. 6:23; 1 John 5:12); live forever (Gen. 3:22). "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to (((eat of the tree of life))), which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7).
So, if we were to flip the coin and look at the tree of knowledge of good and evil... then it must be death in all its manifestations; it is death that is the opposite of life and it involves eternal death.
So this tells me, eating fruit simply means making a choice... either God's way or Satan's way.
Therefore, the tree of knowledge of good and evil is judgement. When one is disobedient to God's commands (eating the fruit of their own way, being disobedient), one is brought to that tree, which is judgement that weighs what you have done (that is why the good and evil is part of that tree), and the judgement is "thou shalt surely die".
Let us look at these verses:
In the garden a command was given and obedience would of brought forth a blessing and disobedience a curse. And we see Adam and Eve became disobedient (Gen. 3:6) and following that, was the curse (Gen. 3:14-17). But also notice the Lord God said to the serpent "thou art cursed" but did not say that to Adam and Eve. The Lord God did say "cursed is the ground for thy sake" (Gen. 3:17). This tells me Adam and Eve were seed that could return to the ground and be regenerated as a new life. Which is what we have today "in Christ" Jesus. And Satan, like the earth in its curse... those that are found in him will be eternally cursed.
So, what exactly happened in the garden in that day? I believe Adam and Eve had access to the heavenly and earthly. The garden of Eden was like a Temple and Adam the high priest. He could enter the holy of holies (which was heavenly) or enter the outside of that area which was the earthly and between the two is what is called a "threshold" and I believe on each side of the threshold stood one of these two trees.
Now let us go forward in time and watch when Satan came to visit Jesus for a similar temptation. "Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said unto Him, "All these thing will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me" (Matt. 4:8,9). How many men would jump at the chance to be lord over all the kingdoms of the earth?
During the above temptation, we see Satan twisting Scripture... saying something that appeals to the mind... similar to what we see in the garden. When Adam and Eve (listened to his voice, rather than God's voice) they became disobedient (they began to eat the fruit of their own way). Satan, in my opinion became "the god of this world" during that meeting with Eve and Adam that day. Which tells me then, that Adam was given this lordship originally and lost it to Satan in the fall. If iniquity was found in Satan, and we see that he lied to Eve what God told Adam... then sin was present already among the angels.
Paul speaking of man says:
Therefore, Satan's fall had already occurred and he was now present to tempt man, which as we know the story, man fell. And notice the serpent is found with Eve first. Eve was the inward being of Adam. And we can go forward in time and see that in order for the Satan to work, he enters into that being. (Luke 22:3). So, what we are seeing is Satan working with the inward being of Adam and then Adam also ate of the fruit. In Luke we find Satan entered Judas which affected him inwardly then outwardly betraying the Christ.
Because the Tree of knowledge of good and evil was in the midst of the garden tells me the Law of God and His judgements were already in place before mankind. God giving a command to Adam again shows me that the Law of what one should and should not do was present.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil is judgement (I see it almost like the justice scales) and the Lord came and judged Adam and Eve on that day. If God does not change, then He was a Judge before man, the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life existed before mankind... comes with creation because of choice. And we know that Satan was created a perfect cherub and iniquity was found in him. (Ezek. 28:15). So, perhaps he ate of the fruit of his own way and did not die (being spirit), that is why he said to Eve "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:2).
So, back in the garden we have a "threshold" on one side is the earthly which stands the tree of knowledge and on the other side is the heavenly which is the tree of life. The Lord desires that we have the knowledge of God (Hos. 6:6) but NOT be God... (Gen. 3:16) and this was why Satan fell.
And I think we can see the similarity of the tree of knowledge right here in this one verse in the NT. Speaking of the Holy Spirit: "And when He is come, he will reprove the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement." (John 16:8). Here we can see "sin" which would be the "evil" and "righteousness" which would be the "good" and "judgement" the "tree".