The Serpent's Crafty Lies

By Mary Kroeger

"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?'" The woman said to the serpent, 'From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 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."' The serpent said to the woman, 'You surely will not die! 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.' When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings." (Gen. 3:1-7)

This story has its beginning in God's instructions to Adam when he was placed in the garden. At that time he was the only living person on earth! He had no wife and no family, so he was totally ignorant of human relationships. But he did have a relationship with God that recognized God's sovereignty, superiority and wisdom, and therefore God needed to be obeyed!

God's love for Adam and His generosity towards him was very evident, for He gave Adam permission to eat of every tree in the garden, with only one exception! The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an absolute no-no! If he ate of it he would die! Death would be the consequence of disobedience to God's command! This is the law of sin and death.

Disobedience is sin! It is the pathway into death. It is NOT a law of sin and everlasting torture in a hell of fire. It is the law of sin and death!

Eve's knowledge of the law of sin and death came to her in her relationship with Adam; it was not spoken to her directly by God. We know that second-hand information is not as forceful as when it is received directly from its source. God's words spoken to us in intimacy with Him are more meaningful, powerful and stronger than when we receive them through others. So the serpent targeted Eve for the deception it had planned. However, Adam was not immune to disobedience either. He was a formation from dust (of existing material), and this gave him a relationship with dust. He had not been created of the light from heaven. At that time the dust was still pure and clean, but it was not imperishable or incorruptible, for it could be corrupted. This opened the door to disobedience!

God's words to Adam were true words, and truth has to be present before there can be an adversary to the truth, and before a lie can be concocted. Truth has foundation, but a lie does not. Truth is reality! We may think that a statement of truth is equal to reality, but it is not; it is just a statement ABOUT a reality. For example, Christ is the truth; He is the reality! A statement of truth about Christ is not the reality; it is only information about the reality that Christ is.

Since a lie cannot exist before there is truth, it can only follow on the heels of truth. For example, counterfeit money can only be manufactured when real money is in existence. Lies are meant to deceive people by pretending to be the truth. So the perpetrator of the lie gives wrong information by hiding, or distorting or withholding truth. Lies have a bottomless pit of devious ways to masquerade as truth! Trying to expose the various masquerades won't lead us to the truth. That would be like trying to know real money by examining the counterfeits. We need the truth in order to reveal the lies that pose as truth. When the truth is known, the lie can no longer deceive. The light that truth is dispels the darkness that lies are!

The serpent's objective was to get Adam and Eve to be disobedient. To do this, it would first have to discredit God, the author of the command! The serpent's lying mind devised a way. It would discredit God by introducing the idea that God did not have Adam and Eve's best interest in mind. It would present disobedience to God's words as being something desirable - something that would enhance their lives and bring them into an equality with God. It would introduce the lie that they could be their own government, and then they would not have to be subject to God's government. Of course, Adam and Eve knew God would not want that to happen, so they reasoned that His command had His own interests and power in mind.

The serpent, the devil of old, the father of lies, the one in whom there is no truth and who therefore cannot speak truth, waited for an opportune moment to speak to Eve. She would be more easily deceived because she did not have a personal relationship with God. The serpent waited until Adam and Eve were eyeing the forbidden fruit. Then it approached Eve with the intent to get God "downsized" in her perception of God. If that worked, she would be easy prey for further unbelief in God's words. It began with a question that would introduce doubt in the very essence of who God is! "Should God have said?" The serpent then continued its denouncement of God by actually contradicting what God had said! It said that the fruit was good for making them wise, knowing good and evil. So instead of believing God, Eve was persuaded to believe a voice other than God's voice! If we don't believe God's voice, we too like Eve, will intentionally or inadvertently accuse God of being a liar.

Eve fell into the trap of believing the serpent's lies! She believed that the serpent was more interested in her welfare than God was. Can you see how the serpent is still up to its old tricks of discrediting God? If God really loves you, why are you having all these problems? Your problems then become bigger than your God. If God is taking care of you, why did He not stop the accident? Why did He not heal your mother? Why, why, why? This opens the door to unbelief in God's love and ability, and introduces disobedience as being desirable! If we cannot trust God, self-reliance becomes an attractive alternative. It lures us into trying to satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life!

Notice how the serpent has the audacity to blatantly contradicted God! "You surely shall not die." In other words, she could let that thought perish. She did not have to obey God! This fruit is beautiful! Not only is it beautiful; it will also make you wise, and you will know the difference between good and evil. In effect, it was saying that once you know the difference, you can choose the good, and by your right choices you can become like God. Knowing the difference between good and evil is the key to making right choices and thus becoming like God! That sounded good to Eve! In fact, it sounded better, easier and more effective than having to obey God!

The serpent's plan worked! Eve was deceived and ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam, and he also ate of the fruit! Adam was not deceived; yet he also ate. So here we have two types of disobedience. One is due to falling prey to deception by being enticed by the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; the other is due to knowingly disobeying God's command. The scriptures declare that sin came into this world through Adam, and death through sin. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men ..." (Romans 5:12) Adam knew he was listening to a voice other than God's. He knew he was disobeying God! He did it in the light of true knowledge.

Although the serpent was able to deceive Eve, it was not, and can never destroy God's plan for humanity, namely, to make man in His image! God is spirit, and spirit is invisible to our eyes. So a true image of God has to be a spiritual image, invisible to human eyes. It is in the unseen realm. This image of God has come to us in Christ - not in Adam! Adam was only an earthy image of God. In Christ we are a new creation! This is a spiritual creation; it cannot be seen with human eyes.

The Jews did not know what a true image of God would look like because they had a wrong image of God. Humanity today still has a wrong image of God. It wants a God who will cater to its desires - a God who will do humanity's will, instead of a God who will do what is right! If we do not obey God, we too will crucify the true image of God, just like the Jews did!

The serpent is unable to function in truth, for there is no truth in it; it is filled with lies and speaks forth these lies. Its affiliation with dust keeps it tied to operating in the earthy realm. The serpent's influence is limited in its work. It can only work in the darkness of the carnal mind of death. It has no power in the mind of Christ - the mind of truth, for truth reveals the lie!

God's plan consists of taking humanity out of the death in Adam and creating a new man in His image in Christ! Christ is the way, the truth and the life! God began the process of making a spiritual image of Himself by forming Adam in an earthy image of Himself. The spiritual image of Himself would come later in the Man Christ Jesus!

It's important for us to see the difference between who we are in Adam, and who we are in Christ! The new creation man is born of an incorruptible seed, and this seed is Christ. He is born from above, so he has no relationship with dust - the serpent's food. He is completely new!

Have you ever wondered why God did not say that He would make men (plural) in the image of God? It's because God specializes in ONENESS! Christ is the exact representation of the invisible God, and it is only in Christ that we are transformed into His image! We are in Christ and Christ is in us! We are ONE with Him! Before we were in Christ we were in Adam and ONE with him. Adam and Christ are two corporate men. Adam is the corporate man of death, and Christ is the corporate Man of life! He is the spiritual Man in the image of God!

It is interesting to note that the serpent's tactics have not changed, and humanity's vulnerability to its lies has not changed. It still perverts or adulterates the very essence of God to us, and so often we still keep falling into its trap of believing that God's ability is limited to our ability! The serpent wants to demote our understanding of God to human knowledge, ability and limitations. To achieve this purpose, it produces substitutions that sound reasonable to the carnal mind. Instead of seeing God as spirit, He is presented to us in a form like ours. In sermons we hear about the person of God and the old man in the sky. The serpent wants us to think that whatever is impossible for us to achieve, is also impossible for God. It wants us to think that we can do God's will in our own strength and thus achieve a righteousness that will satisfy God.

God is spirit; He is omnipresent, omniscient, all powerful and able to do His will. He wants the very best for us, and that is to be changed into His likeness! However, the processing needed for this to occur seems wrong to us. We would like God to zap us into His image! But it does not work that way. Instead, we have to walk in the obedience of faith, and only do what the Father shows us to do! Even though we do not understand why God asks us to do certain things. We need to trust Him and obey Him and accept His will as our will!

Since we have inherited Adam's carnal mind of death, the serpent has no problem presenting his lies to us as truth. People today still think that God wants to withhold good from them. We hear people say that they won't be able to have any fun if they become Christians. They'll have fun first, and become Christians just before they die. Thus, they can have fun and still ensure a place in heaven for themselves. They think heaven is a city with golden streets instead of a life lived in God's government. Sometimes I get the impression that Christians think they will be changed into Christ's likeness on their way to heaven. Others believe that they will remain forgiven sinners throughout eternity. If this were the case, God would never reach His objective of changing us into His image. Some people even shake their fist at God because He does not take their advice. They want God to be their servant instead of their Lord!

They blame God for their troubles and think they know better than He does. They get angry with whatever interferes with their control of a situation. The list of wrong ideas about God and about themselves goes on and on! So we see that the serpent's lies are still being believed!

Failure to believe God results in disobedience. If we would really believe that God is who He says He is, we would not worry, nor would we try our own remedies. We would know that He is in charge of every situation and that He has the power to do His will!

Christ knew that God was His Father, and that He could trust Him completely! This was foundational for His perfect obedience! This is an important lesson for us to learn. Knowing God is foundational for our perfect obedience. If we have not received revelation knowledge of the very essence of God, we will live in the carnal ideas of a poor God who is always defeated by the devil, and by man's so-called free will that can prevent God from doing His will! Once we know God in truth, we won't have trouble believing Him and walking in obedience! When His solution is so slow (at least in our estimation) to appear on our horizon, we are tempted to use some self-effort to bring the promise into fulfilment, even as Abraham tried to help God, and Ishmael came into being. When we don't totally trust God to keep His promises we think God needs our help instead of our obedience.

The serpent's lies about God are bearing fruit when we worry and are afraid God will not answer our prayers according to our liking. We may say He is completely trustworthy, yet not trust Him to do what is right. If we believe that He is who He says He is, we won't have a problem with trusting Him and obeying Him! We will believe that He wants our best even when things are difficult! We will believe that His resurrection power working in us is great enough to overcome every difficulty! We will know that His Spirit in us is the love, grace, forgiveness and wisdom that we need in every situation! The revelation knowledge of God takes away our fears and worries about the unknown!

We don't grow strong by studying the serpent's lies, but by learning to know our God! Christ knew who He was and who His Father was! We too have to know who we NOW are in Christ, and who our Father truly is! In John 17 Christ prayed that we would know our ONENESS with Him and the Father! As we grow in the revelation knowledge of God experientially, the serpent's lies will go unheeded, and we will walk in the obedience of the faith that is authored by Christ! (Heb. 12:2) Just as Jesus Christ only did what the Father showed Him to do, so we will only do what the Father shows us to do!

Let us be blessed in receiving revelation knowledge of our Father and in only doing what the Father shows us to do!

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