Does It Agree with the Bible?
W.H. Griffith Thomas, one of my favorite devotional authors, commented on Genesis 3, “It is hardly too much to say that this chapter is the pivot of the Bible, for if we take it away the rest of Scripture becomes meaningless. [Except for] creation, we have here the record of the most important and far-reaching event in the world’s history — the entrance of sin.”
Note the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin according to Paul, “For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it — in the hope that the creation will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Rom. 8:20–21).
Don’t question God’s Word. (1)
One of Satan’s primary tactics is the question, “Did God really say?” At a church I served, the chairman of the deacons shared grievous news. He said, “Pastor, I believe God is leading me to leave my wife.” His wife was a godly woman. I emphatically responded, “God will never lead you in a way contrary to God’s Word. You are being led by your hormones rather than God’s Word.” The voice of God never contradicts the Bible. Satan attacked God’s character by claiming God’s Word was keeping something good from Adam and Eve.
Satan makes his appearance in the biblical drama in Genesis 3:1. In one sense, the Bible is the story of the serpent Satan’s destruction.
Revelation 20:3 describes the identity and destiny of Satan. “[An angel] threw him into the abyss, closed it and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations (or people groups) …” Notice the description of Satan’s character as crafty. A variant form of this term occurs in the descriptive term “naked” in Genesis 2:25.
Don’t alter God’s Word. (2–3)
While Satan questioned God’s Word, Eve altered God’s Word by adding the word “touch.” God commanded the first couple, “You must not eat from the tree” (Gen. 2:17). Eve added the phrase “or touch it” to God’s Word.
One sign of a cult is the altering of God’s Word. Years ago, the North American Mission Board produced material with the title, “Cult-Proofing Your Church.” The content of the material was a basic doctrinal course. The best defense against Satan’s attack is knowledge of God’s Word. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He responded by quoting God’s Word (Luke 4:1–12).
Both Satan and Eve altered God’s Word. Satan questioned God’s Word, “Did God really say …?” Eve paraphrased, and thus changed, God’s Word, “You shall not eat it or touch it.” Satan denied God’s Word, “You will certainly not die.”
Don’t contradict God’s Word. (4–6)
One of Satan’s methodologies is using half-truths that contradict God’s Word.
Satan claimed, “In fact, God knows that when you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” A desire for knowledge (wisdom) was Satan’s hook to trap Eve. His word was partially true.
By Mark Rathel
Professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida