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2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us that “We are not unaware of (Satan’s) schemes.” In other words, we already know his operating method. He’s been using the same tactics for centuries. That means you don’t have to go into battle against your spiritual foe ignorant of the tactics he’s going to use against you.
We saw in last week’s episode that Satan attacks your mind with lies to turn you against God’s will. Satan hates God. Therefore, to attack God, Satan choses to attack the one part of God’s creation that means the most to Him – YOU!
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Welcome to episode #50 as we continue our mini-series on How to live FOR Christ. Today’s episode asks the question “Did God Say That?”
In his assault on Eve’s mind, Satan used three subtle steps to deceive her into buying his lie.
Satan’s attack on Eve’s mind was simplistically brilliant. All he did was to begin his attack with a seemingly innocent question.
Genesis 3:1 tells us that Satan “said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
Did you notice what Satan did here? All he did was pose a simple question. “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from ANY of the trees in the garden? What if you heard wrong? What if you have misunderstood what He meant? In fact, what did He really mean?” In short, by asking Eve a seemingly innocent question, he began to cast the tiniest shadow of doubt in her mind. This doubt would eventually grow into a life-changing action that would have eternal ramifications – not just for Eve, not even just for Adam – but for all mankind.
I want you to understand here that Satan didn’t attack God’s Word directly. He didn’t actually deny that God had spoken. He didn’t try to force Eve to believe that God never actually said anything of importance. He simply posed a question; he planted a seed of doubt in her mind.
If you listened to last week’s episode, you heard me emphasize the fact that one of Satan’s primary tactics is to target your mind with his lies. Why? Because the Devil knows that if he can impress your thinking, he will impact your living.
Notice Eve’s response to Satan’s question in Genesis 3:2. “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden.’” Seems like an innocent enough response, right? In fact, she spoke the truth—more or less. She was indeed able to eat from the trees in the garden. However, look carefully at what she said to Satan. Can you see any indication that the seed of doubt has already begun to grow in Eve’s mind?
Do you recall what God actually said? “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden” (Genesis 2:16). Do you see what Eve did? She stepped directly into Satan’s trap—she chose to take away from God’s word. She left out one very important word. “One word?” you ask. “Why kick up a fuss over one word?”
What is that one word she omitted? Did you catch it? Eve neglected to tell Satan that she was “free” to eat from any tree in the garden. Why is that so significant?
In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18 NIV)
Luke recorded it this way, “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law” (Luke 16:17, NIV 1984). There are a couple of things here worth noting. First, Jesus refers to “the smallest letter” and “the least stroke of a pen.” The King James Version of the Bible uses the words “jot and tittle.”
The “jot” is actually the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s called the “yodh.” (And no, for you Star Wars fans, that’s not the same Yoda) That letter, that “jot,” occupies proportionately about the same amount of space as that of the English apostrophe. Although the “yodh” is the smallest Hebrew letter, it carries just as much power and significance as any other letter of the alphabet.
Let me explain it to you this way. Consider this: letters spell words, right? Ok, words compose sentences. Makes sense. Sentences reveal God’s truth. Now let me repeat that. Letters spell words. Words make sentences. Sentences reveal God’s truth. Therefore – now think about this - how you spell a word is important. The spelling of a word determines the meaning and purpose of that word, which in turn strongly impacts the point of the sentence.
Take the word “car,” for instance. When you see that word (C-A-R), you know it has a specific meaning. However, if you spell that word a different way, changing out only one letter, you have a totally different word. For example, remove the “r” and replace it with a “t” and, voilà, you have an entirely different word that has an entirely different meaning. The car has now become a cat.
Single letters change words and thus they also change the meaning of the word. Jesus’ promise in Matthew 5:18 is that not one “yodh,” not one single letter of Scripture (no matter how small or insignificant it might seem) would fail. Every letter is equally inspired as is every word. God says what He means, and He means what He says—every letter of it.
Looking once again at Matthew 5:18, we see that Jesus also talks about the “least stroke of a pen” (called the “tittle”). The tittle is even smaller than the “yodh.” Whereas the yodh is a whole letter, a tittle is only part of a letter. When the tittle is present, it forms a specific letter. When the tittle is absent, then it’s a totally different letter.
Confused? Let me see if I can help.
If you can, grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. You may have to pause this podcast to do so and that’s ok. This will work best if you can write this out so you can visually see what I am describing. Once you have that paper and pen, I want you to write in large letters the word “Fun” (with a capital “F” – capital F – u – n).
Now, I want you to add a “tittle” to that word. Put the right side of a half circle (like the right side of a parenthesis) on the right of the letter “F.” In other words, I want you to make the letter “F” in the word “Fun” to now look like the letter “P.” Do you see what you just did? By adding that “tittle” you just create a different word ... “Pun.”
By adding the “tittle” you changed the letter. By changing the letter, you changed the meaning of the word. That little tittle made a big change.
So, not only are the words of the Bible important to God; even the dotting of the “I’s” and the crossing of the “T’s” were inspired by God. God views his Word very seriously, and so should we.
Now, let’s go back to our initial question: What is so significant about Eve’s omission of the word “free”? When she omitted the word “free,” Eve began to paint a totally different picture of God. She began to see Him as a selfish, unloving, and stingy God, withholding the best from His creation. Oh, my friend, never take away from God’s Word. When we begin to change what God says, it becomes much easier to disobey what God says.
Key Thought: Every word of God is important to God, and should be to us as well.
In Psalm 119, verses 11 and 105, David declares that God’s Word keeps us from sinning because it is a lamp showing us where to go and how to live. Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 are clear that God’s word is living, powerful, and productive when you read it, meditate on it, and obey it.
Yes, Satan planted a tiny seed of doubt in Eve’s mind—but she chose to think about it, to dwell on it. She allowed her mind to play with that seed, and as a result, her response to the Devil was tainted. Even today we must be very careful not to take away from God’s Word. Satan wants to deceive your mind and draw you away from the simplicity that is in Christ. Just as he did with Eve, he will begin by getting you to question God’s Word. “Did God really say that?”
When we begin to doubt God, we aren’t so quick to turn to Him for the answers to our questions—or doubts. It becomes easier to detach ourselves from God’s Word, leading us to the next step—denying the truth of what God actually said.
So, Step #1: He got Eve to Question God’s Word. Be sure to join us next week for Episode #51 as we look at Step #2 in Satan’s scheme to lead us into sin.
Before I wrap up today’s episode, I have a personal request of you.
As I look around me at the events that are rapidly unfolding, I am becoming more and more convinced that our time here on earth is running out. Very soon God’s trumpet is going to sound and our Heavenly Father is going to call His children home.
I must confess to you that I feel the irresistible urge, the undeniable draw to make these last days ones that are completely and unreservedly focused on glorifying God in every aspect of my life.
I can so relate to Acts 20:22, 24 where the Apostle Paul says “I am bound by the Spirit ... I don’t know what awaits me, But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” …
For me (Steve Etner) I am bound by the Spirit to the task of pointing men and women toward the power of Christ and the impact that God’s Word can have in their everyday lives. I am compelled to show them from Scripture how to live in victory and freedom ... specifically, from the lure of lust, the pull of porn and the magnet of masturbation.
I don’t know how many more years God is going to give me – but I am committed to dedicating every one of those years to this ministry ... and I’m asking for your help.
If you share our desire to see men walk in integrity and live in purity – I am personally inviting you to join our team of ministry partners! We have set the goal of raising $46,000 to cover our cost of operating this ministry for 2022.
Through your financial gifts – The Pure Man Ministry is able to pour into the hearts of both men and women (literally across the globe), investing in their lives, their marriages, their homes and even their churches - training them from God's Word how they can live free from addiction to porn, lust and masturbation ... all to the glory of God. Your support makes this possible.
Without compromise The Pure Man Ministry shows men and women how to have a continuous relationship with Jesus that is real and personal. To that end we are asking for your financial assistance to partner with us in providing hope and helping men win their personal battles. Help us raise $46,000.
Your gifts to this ministry are deeply appreciated - and are tax deductible!
If God is moving in your heart to become a financial partner with us, you can visit our website at www.thepuritycoach.com and click on the “Donate” button in the upper right corner to give your tax-deductible donation today. Please help us reach our goal so we can reach the world with the message of hope, healing, and restoration. THANK YOU!
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.