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Every word of Scripture is important to and inspired by God. So, if each and every word is important to God, then it should be equally as important to us. In the garden of Eden, Satan planted a tiny seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. She let herself think about Satan’s suggestion vs. God’s promise; and as a result, her response to the Devil was tainted.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is Episode 87, and in this episode, we are going to continue our deep dive into Satan’s strategy with Eve in the Garden and discover how he’s still using the same MO today on you and me. Today’s episode is entitled “Say It Ain’t True!”
Even today we must be very careful not to take away from God’s Word. When we begin to doubt God’s Word – not going to Him (and trusting in Him) for the answers to our questions, and even our doubts – we will find that it is much easier to forget what He really said, and to start to detract from God’s Word. Eventually we will disobey God’s Word and His will altogether.
Satan wants to deceive your mind and to draw you away from the simplicity that is in Christ. That’s why Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that just as Eve was deceived by the Devil’s cunning, our minds can be led away from a pure and undivided devotion to Christ. You see, just as he did with Eve, Satan will begin by getting you to question God’s Word. All the Devil wants you to do is to begin to ask yourself the question, “Did God really say that?” When the enemy is able to get you to begin to question God’s Word, his next step is to deny the truth of what God actually said.
Let me explain. In Genesis 3:4 Satan says to Eve, “You will not surely die.” I can almost hear the serpents voice dripping with sarcasm. Can’t you just hear him snort at Eve’s answer, can you see him roll his sinister snake eyes as he says, “C’mon, do you really think that you’re actually going to die? What nonsense is God trying to fill your mind with anyway? You’re not going to die! God’s holding back on you, and you know it!”
I submit for your consideration that when you begin to question God’s Word, it becomes much easier to deny God’s truth. You see, when you begin to doubt the truth of what God says, it becomes easy for you to decide to do something other than what God says. This is Satan’s subtle ploy: to deceive your mind, leading you away from the simplicity that is in Christ. Doubting God’s truth, without seeking God and His Word for the answer, inevitably leads to rejecting God’s truth.
Let’s take a look at how Eve responded to Satan’s accusation that God wasn’t telling the whole truth. She said to Satan, “God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (Genesis 3:3) Now here’s what I want you to think about. Did Eve defend her benefactor? Did she stand up for her creator? Did she tell Satan that he was full of it and to take his nasty lies and get lost? No. Why? We can see the deceit already at work in her mind. She’s allowing herself to continue to think about what Satan is saying to her. The seed of doubt is beginning to sprout, and the weeds of her King Me thoughts are now starting to choke out the actual truth of what God had said.
So, let’s consider what God had actually said. In Genesis 2:17 God says, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Can you see Eve’s error? Did you catch what she had done? When we compare what God said with what Eve said, we find that Eve not only subtracted from God’s Word (remember from last week’s episode that she omitted the word “free”) but she also added her own words to God’s Word. Did you catch that? Eve told Satan that God had also said “You must not touch it.” But God hadn’t said that. She added to God’s Word.
OK, so what is so wrong in adding to what God had said? After all, isn’t it a good thing to not even touch the forbidden fruit? The bottom line is that when Eve chose to add to God’s Word, she did two significant things. First, she made God out to be less kind and giving. She stopped remembering all that God had lovingly provided for her – she had an entire garden, a perfect garden full of everything she would ever need or desire, and it was all at her fingertips. Instead, she set her focus on the one thing God was not allowing her to have. By adding to God’s Word, she was indicating a belief that God was infringing upon her rights; that there was no comprehensible reason why she couldn’t eat of that fruit, other than the fact that God was being selfish and unfair. In fact, He was uncaring and unloving and downright mean!
The second thing Eve did by adding to God’s Word was to make God’s command a load much too heavy to bear. When she added that additional restriction, she painted a picture of a God who was demanding far too much of her. You can almost hear her thinking: “How could a loving God possibly expect me to walk through the garden and not think about this particular tree? Doesn’t He realize how hard it is to not eat of it? Doesn’t He care about the agony this is causing me?”
The truth is this: God’s commands are never a burden to those who belong to Him (1 John 5:3-4). Eve added to God’s Word and thus she altered God’s truth, warping it into something God never intended it to be – all about her.
In Deuteronomy 4:2 God says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God.” And in Deuteronomy 12 32 we read, “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” In fact, Proverbs 30:6 tells us, “Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar. The point? God makes it very clear that He takes His Word seriously, and so should we.
Listen, my friend. Satan does not want you to live in victory over sin. He does not want you to live a godly life. So, he is waging an all-out war against you to keep you from letting your life shine in such a way that others will see your good works and give glory to God (Matthew 5:16). To that end, he is attacking your mind daily with his cunning deceit to keep you from the simplicity that is in Christ. One of the primary ways he does this is to get you to question the truth of God’s Word, so that you are then wide-open and to denying God’s Truth and vulnerable to accepting his own devious lie as actual truth.
In Genesis 3:5, Satan told Eve, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Can you readily identify Satan’s boldfaced lie here? You see, when God created man, He said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness ... So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him” (Genesis 1:26-27). Adam and eve were already made in the image of God, and they knew that. Yet Satan got them to doubt that fact, and then to deny that truth thereby accepting his substituted lie in the place of God’s absolute truth. A lie is a lie my friend. It will never be true. But the Devil is very adept at getting us to believe that his lie is actually the real truth.
Now listen carefully. Satan’s lie here is that they would be like God. This meant far more than simply being created in God’s image. Satan was actually tempting them to believe that they themselves could be God. Yet in Exodus 8:10 Moses declares, “There is no one like the Lord our God.” In fact, in Exodus 9:14 God Himself says, “there is no one like me in all the earth.” The prophet Samuel crise out (2 Samuel 7:22) “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you.” King David prays (1 Chronicles 17:20) “There is no one like you, O Lord, and there is no God but you.” And in Isaiah 46:9 God says, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”
Are you hearing me? Are you grasping the truth of Scripture? This is the absolute truth that permeates all of Scripture. No one can be like God! Yet, when Satan got man to question God’s Word, and then deny God’s truth, man was not only open to believing Satan’s lie but he received it as truth. Adam and Eve actually believed that God was selfishly holding back on them and that by eating the fruit they would experience full deity for themselves.
Now, before we wrap up today’s episode, there is one more thing that Eve did in response to Satan’s deception. If you’ve been following this mini-series, then you know that she first omitted God’s Word by leaving off the word “free.” Then she added to God’s Word by saying “nor shall you touch it.” Finally, she completely changed God’s Word. In Genesis 3:3 she said to Satan, “... and you must not touch it, or you will die.
Now it’s very possible that you missed the significance of what she said to the serpent. So, let’s compare what Eve said with what God actually said. Eve said, “or you will die.” But in Genesis 2:17 God actually said, “For when you eat of it you will SURELY die.” Now again you might be tempted to think I’m getting nit-picky and worrying about splitting hairs, but please hear me out. God said if they ate of that fruit they would “surely” die. But when Eve was responding to Satan’s temptation, she omitted the word “surely.” Here’s my point: by that omission Eve changed God’s Word. She altered God’s promise. She moved the penalty of disobedience from the firm and absolute promise that upon disobedience they would surely die, into the realm of mere possibility.
Listen, when we try to figure out answers to our doubts without looking into God’s Word, we become vulnerable to input from ungodly influences. When we begin to doubt God’s Word and deny God’s truth – thereby allowing deceitful lies to take the place of God’s absolute truth – we will begin to consider our daily choices and actions apart from God’s Word. We will no longer see the necessity of and the purpose for the Bible.
Satan was able to get Eve to consider the tree apart from what God had said because she chose to allow her mind to initially doubt, and then question God’s Word. This made her open to rejecting God’s truth, which made her completely vulnerable to listening to and then giving in to the devil’s lie in the place of God’s truth.
Ultimately, in the end, Adam and Eve discovered that God’s truth is indeed absolute truth. Genesis 3:6-7 says this: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
On that day, in that garden, at that tree, at that very moment they bit into the fruit, they did surely die – not physically, but they were permanently separated from God until God would step in and resolve the conflict.
Oh, my friend, this is exactly what Satan is trying to accomplish in your life. He wants to get you away from God’s truth so that you can consider your life and make your daily decisions apart from God, God’s truth, and God’s perfect and pleasing will for your life. After all these years – between the Garden of Eden and today – Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed one bit. All he needs to do is plant a seed of doubt in your mind. If you don’t yield your will to God through His Spirit, your mind will take it from there.
This is why it is so important that you “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) and that you are daily setting your mind (fixing your thoughts) on Christ, not on King Me (Colossians 3:2). It is vital that “above all else you are guarding your heart” protecting your mind (Proverbs 4:23). And you do that by (2 Corinthians 10:5) taking captive your thoughts and (Philippians 4:8) thinking ONLY on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Remember Philippians 4:13. In Christ you can do this!
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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.