Excerpt from the book Lie of the Ages
The First Lie and the Fall of Man
“Now the serpent was more subtle 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? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 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. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 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.” ~ Genesis 3:1-5
Have you ever wondered what the first lie ever told was? Who told it? Why was it told? What was the result of it? Can the fruit be seen and felt today? Can its effects be traced throughout history and even into the future?
According to the Genesis account, the Garden of Eden was the sanctuary of the Most High, where He communed with the first man and woman He had made in His very own image. The Garden was a sinless, guiltless sanctuary of unimaginable relational bliss between the LORD Almighty and the man and woman. The Garden of Eden was the place of pure truth and love—a place where lies were not even suspected.
Enter the lie.
Enter the seduction.
Enter no fear of God.
Enter stolen restraint.
Enter the fall of man.
Enter alienation from the Creator.
Garden Scene—The First Lie
Do you think this first lie may hold some insight into the work of Satan and his war against God and His treasured people today?
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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…(Now here’s what the woman said:) 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. (Now here’s what Satan said:) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:16-17; 3:3-4
In the book of origins (Genesis) where every major biblical doctrine is rooted (has its beginning), there can be found the keys and answers to life. Mankind’s Maker, his beginning, his ultimate enemy, temptation, sin, the resulting fall, and the redemption of man are revealed in the first chapters of this all-important first book of the Holy Bible.
Perhaps there could be no greater occupation than for the student of Scripture to undertake, pour over, pray over, and dismantle the first three chapters of the book of Genesis. In this endeavor, he will gain insight into the origins and purpose of creation, pitfalls facing mankind, divine restoration, and the keys to living a victorious life in harmony with his Creator.
Sin entered the human experience through the temptation and fall of the first man (Rom. 5). By this the enemy gained a foothold and has warred with that sole creation made in the image of the Maker Himself. But it is sin that is man’s problem, not circumstance or self-esteem nor any other diagnosis. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (See Jer. 17:9.)
Someone has wisely stated: “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.”
From the very beginning, Satan has tempted man to believe that breaking the commandment of His Maker was not to be feared or avoided and could not harm him. The temptation for man is if he is going to determine truth on his own terms and how it fits his own lifestyle, or repent and humbly accept and obey what God says.
Cain was a religionist. He refused relationship with the LORD because he chose to do things his own way instead of God’s (Gen. 4:1-7). In his pride, Cain wanted to make up his own rules – he was lawless. Religion is where men have created a god in their own image and follow those teachings which render obedience to that false god. The most deceptive and evil form of religion is that which is close to the truth and uses Bible Scriptures out of context to make up that doctrine which circumvents obedience to the plain truth of God. (See Jesus rebuke the Pharisees in Matt. 23.)
Who are we going to believe and trust? Whose report will you believe? Since the LORD and the devil stated something in direct opposition to each other, we know that one of them is a liar. As He gave the first man and woman the option, so the LORD gives us the choice to trust and obey Him or not to obey Him. Each of us will decide who it is that is going to be a liar in our hearts—the Almighty, or Satan.
God said (Gen. 2:17): “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.”
Satan said (Gen. 3:4): “And the serpent said unto the woman, YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE.”
The lie of the ages began in the very cradle of creation. The aim of the enemy of all souls was the first man and woman who were uniquely created in the image of the One who made all things. Adam and Eve were the subjects of Satan’s deadly lie—the first lie ever told. Apparently, this cunning enemy understood that if he could cause the man and woman to take things into their own hands and violate the instruction of their Maker, they would be ushered out of His Garden (presence) and forfeit their place with Him.
Mankind’s enemy led him to believe that he could violate the instruction of his holy Maker and still remain within His approval. Like Adam and Eve, it is readily observed that men naturally internalize this philosophy as “I can sin with no fear of consequences.” Is it possible that this lie is still leading men and women to believe that they “shall not surely die” if they live in direct opposition to the LORD?
Concerning this most insidious and destructive lie of the serpent, the Life in the Spirit Study Bible states:
“‘YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE’…The first lie proposed by Satan was a form of antinomianism (lawlessness), denying the judgment of death for sin and apostasy. One of the basic sins of humankind is unbelief in God’s word. It is believing that somehow God does not really mean what He says about salvation, righteousness, sin, judgment, and death. Satan’s most persistent lie is that unrepentant, deliberate sin and rebellion against God will not necessarily bring separation from God and eternal condemnation.”
As he did with the first man and woman, the adversary tells us “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4).
Escaping the judgment of a holy God has long been the vain imagination of depraved men, fueled by the enemy of all righteousness who has come “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (Jn. 10:10).
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” ~ Ecclesiastes 8:11
“Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.” ~ Psalms 10:13
Question: “Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God?
Answer: “He hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.”
The hearts of those who are not in fellowship with the LORD say “The LORD will not ‘require it’ of me. He will not bring me into accountability for my life in this world. After all, He has not done anything to me for my wrongdoing thus far. I am okay in my sins; God will just overlook them.”
Lucifer’s lure capitalizes on the sinful nature of men, preying upon his desire to be his own god, controlling his own destiny. Somehow, according to this revelation and others, it is within man’s makeup to believe that because his Creator is not presently executing tangible judgment for his sin, he believes that God is not going to judge him at all. So, unregenerate man goes on sinning with reckless abandon, not realizing that that Great and Terrible Day of Judgment lies just ahead.
The first man and woman bought into the first lie that claims there is no consequence for violating the command of the one true God. Such self-deception is no new thing. Since the first man and woman, people have sought to define right and wrong on their own terms instead of simply acknowledging what the LORD says. As the first couple found out, it is a losing endeavor to determine truth by how it fits one’s lifestyle instead of by God’s non-negotiable counsel given us in His Word (Jn. 17:17; Rom. 3:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:16). Defining truth on one’s own terms is buying into the lie of the ages presented to every man by the evil one who “walketh about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
When men seek to redefine truth on their own terms, they unwittingly create a god in their own image—one who accepts them in their sins with no judgment. They then migrate to pastors and teachers who will tickle their itching ears with smooth messages void of the full-counsel revelation of Holy Scripture (Jer. 5:30-31; 2 Tim. 4:2-4).
After Adam and Eve, it was their son Cain who sought to make up his own way to God on his own terms. He failed. To Cain and to all who seek through religion, whether self-styled or organized, the Almighty would ask: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door” (Gen. 4:7).
The LORD says to Cain “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” This simply means “If you will do things the way I prescribed, will I not fully accept you as I did your brother Abel?” Cain hardened his heart and refused to do things God’s way by offering the type of sacrifice God requires. Due to his own choice to rebel against the Most High he became so filled with the enemy that he killed his own brother (Gen. 4).
This is a classic example of how the enemy led this man Cain to believe that he could make up his own rules, violating the holy Creator and still escape His just judgment. Like Cain, millions of faithful religionists today have a mere formula of godliness while denying the power of a truly surrendered life to the one true God who sent His only begotten Son as the only sacrifice for the sins of men (2 Timothy 3:5).
When he was able to successfully persuade the first man to violate the command of the LORD, Satan gained access to authority over the man by the sin of the man (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ephesians 4:27; James 4:7). Jesus re-gained that authority for His highest and prized creation and all those who come into relationship with Him experience the abundant blessings that come along with being saved by His precious blood (Jn. 10:10; Rom. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” Romans 5:17
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ~ John 3:16-17
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, please unite my heart to fear Thy name and keep it from falling prey to this same lie that led to Adam and Eve’s fall. Quicken my heart in the fear of the LORD. Please teach me that there are many harsh consequences for disobeying You, by not doing what You say, by sinning against You. Convict my heart of sin, and I beg You to make my conscience extremely sensitive to Your conviction and leading. Change my heart, O LORD. Grant me a heart of flesh that delights to live in Your presence and do Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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