In Genesis 3:1 we see the introduction of a new character: the Serpent. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
Notice that right from the beginning Satan is characterized as a serpent. This is not necessarily a description but rather a characterization. The verse says the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field: the verse does NOT say the serpent WAS a beast of the field. This serpent (and his future) is positively identified in Rev. 20:2-3: "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." So we see Satan present and active at the beginning and the end of the Bible.
The serpent was more Ďsubtilí than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. The word translated as Ďsubtleí is the Hebrew word aruwm, defined as Ďcunning.í Since he was cunning, he had a plan, and in this chapter we see him carry it out. Notice the verse makes a distinction between this serpent and the animals created by God in chapters 1 and 2. Implied, but not stated, is that God did not create this serpent as a beast of the field.
Ezek 28:11-19 addresses the origin of Satan. "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
This is a description of our enemy. He was not created as Satan, but as a musical instrument
II Cor. 11:14 tells us "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." We should get rid of the idea that Satan is ugly or the horned red devil. Satan presents himself as something beautiful and good but, just as he did with Eve, his plan is to steal, kill and destroy.
The serpent speaks: "And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" I have never seen a talking snake. In this chapter Satan establishes a pattern of conduct which he still follows to this very day. He speaks to the woman. This is critical: he goes after the uninformed and ignorant. In this conversation, Satan is going to address a specific tree. Remember: Eve had not yet been created when God gave the commandment concerning that tree. Only Adam was present at that time and the commandment was not repeated. It was, therefore, Adamís responsibility to accurately teach that commandment to Eve. As we have already seen, the husband and father is the spiritual head of the family and it is his responsibility to teach spiritual truth to his family. In this chapter Adam will fail miserably in this responsibility, and as a result, the fall of man will be caused by Adamís actions, not Eveís.
Satan begins by questioning the Word of God - "Yea, hath God said?" At this point there had not been very much of the Word of God established. The sum total of the Word of God to man consisted of five verses! They were: Gen. 1:28-30 which gave positive instructions; and Gen. 2:16-17 which was a negative commandment that carried a penalty. There wasnít much to mess up.
Notice how Satan opens his conversation. He had obviously overheard Godís instruction to Adam, but he stated his question in different words than what God had used. To this very day, his intent was and is to confuse, to make the person look at the word of God a little differently. Gen 2:16-17 says, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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." This was a blanket permission followed by an exception. This is what God said, but Satan states his question as a negative: "ye shall NOT eat of EVERY tree of the garden." He lumps both of Godís instruction together. It sounds very similar to what God actually said, but it was designed to confuse.
At this point Adam, who was present and who had already demonstrated exceptional intellectual ability, should have taken certain actions. He should have recognized that this serpent was not one of those that he had named in Gen. 2:19. This serpent could do something that none of the other animals could do: he could speak. This serpent was not God and God had not introduced him to Adam: he was a foreigner who did not belong. Adam should have stepped in at that point and cast the devil out of the garden: according to Gen. 1:28 he had the authority to do so. At the very least, he should have called on God for help and instructions. Instead, he does nothing and Eve makes a fatal mistake which would eventually result in the sacrifice of Jesus: she enters into fellowship with Satan.
In Gen. 3:2-3 Eve responds: "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Eve demonstrates that she had total understanding of what God had said in her presence, but only a partial understanding of the commandment given before she was created. Her statement in verse 2 is accurate, but in vs. 3 she gets into trouble. First she takes away from the word of God, then she adds to it, and finally she changes it. Eve did not know she was heading into trouble. There was no Bible at that time: Eve did not have a book with five verses written down that she could check like we have.
Eve did not know that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit - we do. Notice that Eve made these errors regarding only the part of the Word of God that she personally had not heard from God. While God definitely speaks to people today, he also expects us to read and be familiar with what he has said in the Bible. It should be understood as Godís personal words and instructions to each of us as individuals. Itís not a matter of, well God spoke directly to Adam. We have a record of exactly what God said to Adam, Noah, Moses, David, etc. We can check the record and God himself will make those same words just as real to us as they were to their original hearers.
These three errors (removing from, adding to and changing Godís Word) are still prevalent today, which is why there is a Bible search engine on every page of this website. Even better, the reader is encouraged to look up scripture in his own Bible. None of us will probably ever know the entire scripture, but we do each need to check the scriptures for ourselves to make sure a verse that is being used has not been tampered with. A pastor or teacher (or webmaster) should never be insulted if their hearers do this: it shows commitment to the Word of God and is VERY pleasing to God. II Tim. 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself APPROVED UNTO GOD, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth."
In her error regarding her handling of the word of God, Eve gives Satan a further opening for his deception. "But of the tree which is in the midst of the garden.." According to Gen. 2:9 there were two trees in the midst of the garden. Eve did not single out exactly which of the two trees she was talking about. In the commandment God was VERY specific regarding which tree was forbidden, and in her response Eve demonstrated that she did know which tree she was talking about, yet her reply indicates a faulty understanding of the Word of God and in it she changes the word of God by REMOVING part of what God had said.
God has said, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," but Eve said, "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden." Had the conversation stopped at this point, Eve may have been okay: she did know which tree she was talking about.
But the conversation continued: "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it." God did not say this. There was no instructions whatsoever regarding touching the tree of knowledge. Here Eve ADDS TO the word of God. Had the conversation stopped at this point Eve may have still been okay - there would be no serious consequence from not touching that tree.
Eveís last statement: "lest ye die." The fatal error: God didnít say Ďyou might die,í God had said "For in the day you eat thereof you will SURELY die." In her statement Eve removed the absolute penalty for violation of the commandment of God, and she went further and made the possible penalty conditional upon observing something that God had not even commanded: TOUCHING the fruit.
In verse 4 we see Satanís first lie: "Ye shall not surely die." In this statement Satan reveals that he knows exactly what God said. Satan knows scripture, and he hates it. Here Satan, the father of lies, calls God a liar. I definitely would not want to be in his shoes on judgment day.
The lie was that Adam and Eve would not die. They probably did not know what death was because there had not been any death up until that point.
Death does not mean to stop existing, it means separation. At physical death the spirit and soul separate from the body, but they continue to exist just as the physical body continues to exist. Death is the one thing that is almost universally feared by man, but it should not be feared by Christians. If we really believe what we say we believe, then death is not an end for us, it is a new beginning. We have something glorious and wonderful to look forward to. The last two chapters of the Bible show us where weíre headed. Iím not looking for a boring time.
Most people donít like to talk about death because it makes them aware of their own mortality and that brings up issues of what will happen following their personal death and where they will spend eternity. Most people would like to go to heaven but are fearful that theyíre not good enough to go there. Guess what! No one is good enough. That is why we rely on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Down through time men have gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid the finality of death. In ancient times the pharoahs would have jewels, food and servants buried with them to provide for the afterlife. Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth thinking that if he could only find this magic elixir he would not age thus would not die. Cosmetics manufacturers and plastic surgeons are growing rich today through the sale of make-up and surgery to make people look younger than they really are. Itís amazing that people will believe what they see in the mirror. In the last twenty years or so a new industry has begun in our country: cryogenics. People are actually having their dead bodies frozen in hopes that when medical science finds a cure for the disease that killed them - or for old age itself - they can be thawed out and rejuvenated. The idea of cloning has its roots in the same fear of death: if a person can be regenerated via body cells or tissue, and if a computer can store his mental functioning for implant in a new body, they think they can gain immortality in that way.
None of these methods will work: God said "in the day that ye eat thereof ye shall surely die." Psa. 90:10 says, "the days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." Since the events that occurred in Gen. 3 all men have died physically except Enoch and Elijah. There will be an exception for those Christians who are alive on the earth at the rapture. As Christians we should understand that death can be merciful. We are imperfect beings living in bodies that are prone to sin. There comes a point where God releases us from having to stand against sin: when our work is finished, he lets us go home.
After six thousand years of human history, Satan is still using the same old lie that he told in the garden of Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." In our time, the most effective use of this lie is found in the teaching of reincarnation, which is in total opposition to the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches resurrection, not recycling; the Bible teaches that life is a straight line, not a circle; the Bible states (Heb. 9:27) "..it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Job knew this (Job 19:25-27). Job did not expect to be recycled into a succession of different bodies and then to see the Lord with whatever eyes he happened to have at the time. Job fully expected to be resurrected. The reincarnation lie lets man believe that he can live just as evil as he wants to: after all, if he blows it too badly he will simply come back again for a fresh try. The doctrine of karma is a part of reincarnation: that what a person sows in this life he will reap in the next. This allows men to close their eyes to suffering around them, and even allows them to commit murder - after all, the other people are only getting what they deserved due to their karma. Get this: the lie of reincarnation will have a big part to play in the end times drama. New Agers believe that they will actually be helping those poor ignorant Christians when they send them to their eternal reward. When you hear the expressions karma, or deja vu, know that you have just come in contact with the doctrine of reincarnation and donít buy into the lie.
Gen. 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." If Satanís fate had not already been sealed due to the events of Isa. 14, this statement would have done it. In this statement he makes several sweeping claims. He says "For God doth know..." In this simple statement Satan claims to know the mind of God. Satan does not know the mind of God. At this time, today, he may know more than he did in the garden because weíve got more Bible. But Satan was not created in the image and likeness of God as was man, he was created as an angel.
1 Pet 1:12 says "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." There are some things which even angels do not know. In fact this statement is proof that Satan did not know the mind of God. God had no intention of giving man wisdom through some natural substance but rather through personal, intimate communion and fellowship with him. The things of God are not discovered through natural means: having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside us is required. This is why the unsaved have such a hard time understanding why we are the way we are and why we believe the things we believe
"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof..." Here is proof that Satan was listening when God gave the commandment regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to Adam. "In the day ye eat thereof..." Satan was well aware that God had stated that Adam would eat of that tree.
"Then your eyes shall be opened..." In this clause Satan informs Eve that she and Adam are spiritually blind and they can only gain their sight by disobedience to God. Itís interesting to note that Jesus never said, Ďhe that hath eyes to see, let him seeí but often said "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear." In Rev. 2 and 3 Jesus dictated letters to seven churches in Asia and he made this statement to each one of them, meaning that individuals can and should hear from God. The last letter was to the Laodicean church - a church that had backslidden totally. Jesus counseled the Laodiceans to anoint thier eyes with eyesalve so they might see. Worldly people say this: seeing is believing; Christians say this: believing is seeing. Why? Rom 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Anybody want more faith? Donít pray for it. Hereís how to get it. If you immerse yourself in the Word of God, believe it and act on it whether you understand it or not, your faith will grow because God will give you understanding and prove himself to you. Donít worry about what you see - I can see a lot of evil all around me every day - but I KNOW that God is in charge - not Satan - and that God WILL win in the end. Itís his game.
Satan continues: "And ye shall be as gods..." The word gods is the Hebrew word Elohim: the exact same word as in Gen. 1:1. There are many people roaming the earth today who have bought Satanís lie and claim to be God - From Shirley McClain in Out on a Limb to the various Hindu gurus. The Dali Lama is said to be God incarnated - Richard Gere is one of his followers and knows him personally. New Agers claim to have attained Christ Within or Christ Consciousness. It is important to understand that the same terminology is often used in Christian and New Age circles, but the New Agers have redefined the word 'Christ'. To them, Christ is merely one of a group of Ďascended mastersí - and not the highest master at that. When they talk about ĎChrist withiní they are referring to having taken the next step in evolution, the quantum leap, to believe that they are divine, that the divine spark is in them, which is pantheistic Hinduism.
There is no way a person can really have the real Christ within unless he comes to Jesus Christ on his terms. He must acknowledge that he is a sinner worthy of death. He must recognize that because of sin he cannot save himself. He must believe that Jesus, the Son of God, shed his blood and died in his place. And he must believe that Jesus rose again from the dead. Short of believing these Bible facts, there is no way a person can have Christ within.
This part about believing that Jesus is the Son of God is important. Years ago George Burns made a movie called Oh God. Towards the end of the movie John Denver had to take a written test and God showed up to help him with it. One of the questions was: "Is Jesus really your son?" It got my attention because that particular question is the test of antichrist. The people involved in that movie are of the spirit of antichrist because the Ďanswer,í provided by God, was that yes, Jesus was his son, as was Buddha and several other false gods, including the guy in the kitchen. The teaching was that all people are Godís children. This is not so. No one is a son (adopted) of God unless he comes to God on his terms.
I have even heard pastors and TV preachers teach that we are gods. There was a "Word" that came through Kenneth Copeland in which 'Godí supposedly said, "You donít have a god living in you, you are one." That word didnít come from God. Some use Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34 as scripture proofs that God has called us gods, but I would look at those verses differently. Ps. 82 is an indictment against evil doers and verse 6 says "I have said ye are gods" but I cannot find the scripture which God is quoting, and in John 10:34 Jesus quoted Ps. 82. It would be very dangerous to hang a doctrine of the deity of man on these two verses.
Satan finishes his statement by saying "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." The word knowing is the same Hebrew word as is found in Gen. 4:1 "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived..." It means to be personally and intimately joined with something or someone else. The word gods is the Hebrew word Elohim. Satan is here telling Eve that she would be as Elohim, which was a lie: No man will EVER be as God - Elohim.
But Satan takes his lie one step further - knowing good and evil. In this statement he introduces something we would recognize as Yin Yang: equal amounts of opposites found in one entity. It could be said that most humans have some good and some bad in us, but this statement could not be made about God. Even Godís judgment is not evil, it is simply the penalty for breaking the law and failing to repent and ask for mercy. His judgment is not evil even when we know that millions have died and will die as a result. This does not make God a murderer. There will come a day when evil is totally removed from society and this will be a blessing to those who obey God. God is totally just and righteous to judge and destroy those who did not believe and obey him. He would be unrighteous and unjust toward those who did obey if he failed to judge those who refused. There is a judgment and there is a blessing: itís up to us to decide which we want to receive
In this statement Satan introduces something we would also recognize as the Star Wars force, and the same concept is found in witchcraft. While some would make a distinction between black witchcraft and white witchcraft, God makes no such distinction: he simply says (Exo 22:18) "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." No ifs, ands or buts about it: God hates witchcraft.
Star Wars popularized the concept of the God of forces. Daniel said this regarding the antichrist (Dan 11:38) "But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things." In this verse Daniel is writing about antichrist and Star Wars helped set up the world for his coming. Isa. 4:20 says "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and, sweet for bitter." In the movie, Darth Vaderís real name was Anakim. Num 13:33 "And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." The little teddy bear characters lived on a planet named Endor. There was a town named Endor in the Bible and a certain person lived there. 1 Sam 28:7 "Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor." Saul consulted with this woman, this witch, and it cost him his life. God is not intimately joined, or one with, evil in any way - he hates it.
In Gen. 3:4-5 Satan tells five whoppers and in them he lays the foundation for his work over the next six thousand years. He said: Ye shall not sure die - this lie finds its ultimate expression in the pagan belief in reincarnation; For God doth know - opens the door for alternate spiritualities; Then your eyes shall be opened - implies that God holds back knowledge from those who obey him - the opposite is true; Ye shall be as gods - finds expression in Christ consciousness, Christ within, human potential movement, be all that you can be, self realization, self actualization, etc;
Knowing good and evil - implies that God himself is both sides of the Star Wars force, yin yang, white and black witchcraft. As we see, those five lies are still very much with us today.