How the Deceiver Distorts the Truth
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
According to Easton's definition:
Genesis is one of five books of Moses collectively called the Pentateuch, a word of Greek origin meaning "the five-fold book."
The Jews called them the Torah, "meaning the law."
It is probable that the division of the Torah into five books proceeded from the Greek translators of the Old Testament.
The names by which these several books are generally known are Greek verses Hebrew.
The first book of the Pentateuch is called by the Jews Bereshith, meaning "in the beginning", because this is the first word of the book.
It is generally known among Christians by the name of Genesis, meaning "creation" or "generation," being the name given to it in the LXX, because it gives an account of the origin of all things.
Genesis contains, according to the usual computation, the history of about two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine years.
Genesis is divided into two principal parts.
The first part (chapters 1-11) gives a general history of mankind down to the time of the Dispersion.
The second part presents the early history of Israel down to the death and burial of Joseph (chapters 12-50).
There are five principal persons brought in succession under our notice in the book of Genesis, and around these persons the history of the successive periods is grouped.
We see Adam (1-3), Noah (4-9), Abraham (10-25:18), Isaac (25:19-35:29), and finishing strong Jacob (36-50).
Today our focus will rest upon Adam & more specifically about Adam's period chapter 3, verses 1-5.
Here in the text today we see the beginning, don't miss that, of distorting the truth.
We see the serpent distorting the word of God, the will of God & the way of God.
The whole concept of distorting the truth has plagued generations that followed after this critical moment.
It is here, where we can place a pin and perhaps state that at this very moment lying was introduced and a seed planted in the world.
So much so, that in chapter 4 verse 9, Cain, the son of Adam, said to God "I don't know; am I my brother's keeper."
Now-Cain just killed his brother Abel in the field because he was jealous of him.
Here's what's funny-Cain distorted the truth to the one true God, who sees all, knows all, and hears all.
I mean come on-God should have been the last person one would think to distort the truth to.
Allow me to give my disclaimer before making this next statement-I'm not condoning nor advocating distorting the truth but you can do that with everybody else, including yourself, but you can't distort the truth with God.
From the time the serpent introduced distorting the truth to mankind, it has become a common practice in mankind.
Don't sit there like a deer caught in the headlights as if you don't know what I'm talking about, we all (and I mean all) from the pulpit to the pew to the restroom to the parking lot have distorted the truth at some point in our lives.
Now this is the one time where the truth doesn't have to be distorted.
As we saw a serpent in Genesis to a dragon in Revelations, we have the seed of distorting the truth in Genesis to now, in our culture we have the worlds tallest tree, standing at 379.1 feet.
In our text we have
A) The Disguise of the Deceiver 3:1a
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made."
Notice the disguise-serpent
Notice the adjective used to give a description-more crafty
Also notice the distinction that is accessed here; the separation-than any beast of the field
Why the disguise of a serpent?
Perhaps so he could catch the attention and fascinate the woman when he spoke to her-having that shock value and appeal
As I conducted a study of the word beast, I discovered that it can relate to an adjective, describing five different areas-living, alive; relatives; life; living thing; community
As I dug deeper into that word I noticed that under the adjective living, alive there were four specific sub-adjectives-green(vegetation), flowing, fresh(water), lively, active(man) & reviving(of the springtime)
The deceiver in this text, though not explicitly stated, is satan.
Rev 12:9 states the devil and satan is the old serpent.
Satan was the immediate attendant of God's throne but by sin became an apostate from his state & a rebel against God's crown & dignity.
No sooner was he a sinner than he was satan
No sooner a traitor than a tempter
Satan is enraged against God & his glory & furthermore envious of man & his happiness.
I'm sure everyone has heard the saying "misery loves company."
So, if satan is enraged against God & has waged war against man for being so happy with God, why would satan remain dormant and not do as it states in I Peter 5:8 your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
If he can deceive us into doing and thinking things that are opposite of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise," he'll be more than happy to see it.
Allow me to help some of you-the serpent alone wasn't evil.
It was the spirit of satan that chose to inhabit the serpent to bid his will.
As with the man who was demon possessed in Mark 5:1-20
The man himself had no intent on doing the things he did but it was the legions that inhabited him.
Still not there, it has been said don't hate the person but hate the sin; why is that?
Because God's intent isn't to tempt us or,torment us but transcend us to Him
It is satan who seeks to tempts us & seeks to torment us by distorting the truth, not your fellow man or God
What disguise has the deceiver used to wow you and cause that shock value to get your attention, instead of staying focused on God?
B) The Debate of the Deceiver 3:1b-3
"And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
What was the subtle debate here-the deceiver simply dropped a single once of doubt within Eve with his question according to the theologian Warren Wiersbe, "if God really loved you, He would be much more generous. He's holding out in you."
Notice how the deceiver pose his one & only question-to ensue doubt
To cause Eve to second guess Gods intent towards them.
Look at how subtle satan was with his question
He didn't make a big deal out of it but he softly debated the meaning of what God said to them.
The subtlety of the serpent was to excite doubt within Eve.
Milton, an English poet, stated that the idea of the wife to be independent and for,the sake of release, had withdrawn herself out of man's sight was the beginning of the fall before the fall
Notice something here-Eve was near the forbidden tree, removed from her husband
We must observe that Eve received the command of God from Adam and she didn't hear it herself, therefore making her more of a target to possibly discredit what was said.
In chapter 2 verse 16-17 we see that it was only Adam present in the Garden of Eden when God gave his command, so it is safe to conclude that Eve received God's command from Adam.
With that in mind, the deceiver saw fit to have this discourse with Eve alone.
Perhaps had she remained close to her covering, remained close to the side she was removed from, she would not have been so exposed.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty."
Maybe the reason why we have been so busted up & beaten is due to us not abiding in the shadow of the Almighty; maybe we are no longer dwelling in His shelter
Just as Eve separated herself from her husband, from her covering, we tend to do the same thing with God; We separate ourselves from God
Excessive Solitude allows a person to become subjective to those sins that are appealing in the person's eyes.
A lot of people feel as if they don't need to fellowship with other believers; they can get it at home by themselves but the bible tells us that we are not to forsake the fellowship of the saints.
Why is this important? Well I'm glad you asked
The reason why this is important is because the communion of believers will bring a sense of strength and safety to us.
The debate that the deceiver entered into with Eve would not have been possible had she been in communion with Adam
Perhaps that sin in which we became so entangled was because we decided to alienate ourselves from other believers, who would reiterate and recant the Word of God to us-preventing any debate of the Word of God.
Though Eve recanted the command of God, it wasn't with the confidence and conviction to tell the deceiver as Jesus did in
"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him alone shall we serve."
What aspect of the Word of God has the deceiver debated with us about lately & we had a lackadaisical response?
Not only do we see the disguise of the deceiver
Not only do we see the debate of the deceiver but finally
C) The Denial of the Deceiver 3:4-5
"The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
He disguised himself to enter into a subtle debate to ignite doubt and then denial of God's word.
As soon as the deceiver, satan, told Eve she would not die, she should have exited the stage left and found her husband.
It's when we linger at the place of temptation that we get into trouble, especially when we know what we're thinking in contrary to God's truth.
I was told some years ago "never put yourself in a position that you depend on your body to get you out of."
I can't speak for anybody else but I can remember the numerous times I've allowed myself to hang around stuff that I should have quickly excited the stage left.
What does satan do, he teaches men to doubt then to deny.
In some aspects he makes us atheists.
This is good-catch this-the deceiver (satan) knew what he said was a fallacy, he knew it was a distortion of the truth from his own personal experience.
He told them there was no danger in disobedience & rebellion but he was cast out of heaven for such an offense.
Satan wows her with great improvements, superiority, power
He basically gives her the pomp and circumstance
The deceiver intent was to promote discontent for their present state.
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."
"One who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.' This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike."
The deceiver places hope in impunity in a great support of the iniquity here
I had an algebra II & trigonometry teacher in high school say to us all the time in class "you're fooling yourself."
In other words, when we allow the deceiver to place doubt and then denial within us verses holding on to what God has told us we tend to fool ourselves & with deadly consequences.
The deceiver, satan, will take God's Word and use it against us if we allow him to.
We have to always be vigilant and pray constantly, always abiding under the shelter of the most high God.
We must come to the point and place where we refuse to allow the deceiver to have subtle conversations with us to distort the truth of God's word.
If we put a stop to the deceiver's ability to distort the truth, would we then look at each other with vile discontent and discomfort?
Or will we finally see the disguise of the deceiver, who is the accuser of the brethren?
As the song writer placed pen to paper, Adam & Eve were in the right place, they were in the right place because they were receiving their blessing from the Lord.
The choice was theirs
Will you receive your blessing?
Will you receive your breakthrough?
Or will you choose to allow the deceiver to distort the truth & cause you miss it?