Gen 3:1-6 How Does Satan Operate? 7/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

#1. Questioning God's Word (Gen 3:1-3, II Pet 1:20-21, I Cor 2:13, I Tim 2:12-14, I Cor 14:34)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. Accusing God of Lying (Gen 3:4, Matt 6:24, Prov 13:24,19:18, 22:6,15, 23:13)

 

 

 

 

 

#3. Attacking the Character of God (Gen 3:5-6, I John 2:15-16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I preach every sermon as if this were my last one. I wish, for your sakes, that you would listen as if this was my last sermon. Please open the sermon outline in your Bulletin. You heard me say this many times, and there are some of you who ignore my recommendations. Well, that is your loss. There are many who hear me and could wish that they had a sermon outline in their hands. Today's sermon is based on Gen 3:1-3, and the title of this sermon is: "How Does Satan Operate?" (2X).

Please open your Bibles to Genesis, chapter 3:1 (2X). In Gen 1 we have seen that God made this entire universe in 6 days. In Gen 2 we have seen that God made Adam and Eve, and God made a small paradise on this earth that was called "the Garden of Eden". And in chapter 3 we are going to read how Adam and Eve squandered this paradise. They handed it over to Satan. How do you like this for a nice "Mother's Day" sermon? But first we must understand that it was all:

Ge 3:1 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?

Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Genesis 3:3 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.

Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Genesis 3:5 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 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Here we read that Satan deceived man, so that the image of God in which man had been formed, was obliterated. As a result the whole world, which had been created for the sake of man, also began to be destroyed. We see that God made the law of Entropy. I have written this word on the board. The law of Entropy declares that everything in nature, left to itself, degenerates to its greatest disorder. Entropy measures disorder. Left to itself, everything in nature gravitates toward maximum Entropy.

Let us look again at verse 1 again. The serpent was more cunning, or more crafty, than any other animal God has made. The Lord Jesus confirmed this when He sent His disciples out two by two. For example, Jesus said to them in Matt 10:4,

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Be ye therefore wise as serpents! But because the serpent was more cunning than other animals, the serpent also was most suited for Satan to deceive first Eve, and then Adam. The serpent did not have an innate ability to speak, because the mouth and the forked tongue of the serpent are not suitable to speak audible words, like we can speak. But the serpent was simply the mouth of the Devil. The Lord Jesus declared that it was not the serpent, but the Devil who was the "Father of Lies". But keep in mind that God made the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", and God made that tree to have beautiful fruit, and God made this serpent, and God gave this serpent the ability to be crafty, and God made the angel Lucifer, and God gave this angel a mind capable of rebelling against God, and God gave this angel permission to hide himself inside this serpent, and God made Eve, who after she had experienced what it feels to sin against God, also tempted Adam. Can you see that God prepared the stage for the temptation of Adam and Eve? God was not the originator of their sin, but God prepared the stage, and God did nothing to prevent this sin from taking place, even though God was very capable of stepping in at any time during this temptation. Also keep in mind the utter ingratitude of Adam and Eve: They knew that, by the hand of God, all animals were given in subjection to them. As often as they saw one of these animals, which were in the world, they must have been reminded of the supreme authority of God and the goodness of God. And yet they allowed themselves to be led away by one of their own slaves into rebellion against God. Not only did they neglect to punish the serpent for his rebellion against God, but they also became obedient to the words of the serpent, and they joined the serpent in the same rebellion. How was all this possible?

Why did God permit Adam and Eve to be tempted? Why did God permit Satan, the enemy of God, to tempt Adam and Eve who were created in God's own image, and were still the friends of God? Why did God permit Satan, the enemy of man, to clothe himself with an animal, and allow him to disguise himself for the destruction of man? Was Satan operating independently from God? If Satan operates independently from God, there would be two gods. That cannot be. There is only one supreme ruler, and He is God. God was not ignorant of the temptation that was taking place. Therefore, this evil did not take place without God's permission. And when we say "permission", we understand that God had "appointed" whatever He wished to be done, because God had the power of preventing this sin at any time. It means that Adam sinned with the foreknowledge of God, and within the foreordained will of God. It does not mean that this sin was pleasing to God. Adam sinned against the Law of God, which is an insult to God no matter how you look at it. But why did God permit it? God permitted it because in God's plan the Lord Jesus Christ had to come into the world to purchase those whom God decided to save out of this miserable mass of rebels, the offspring of Adam. God knows why He chose this plan for the existence of this world. But it brought with it that Satan was:

#1. Questioning God's Word (Gen 3:1-3, II Pet 1:20-21, I Cor 2:13, I Tim 2:12-14, I Cor 14:34)

Satan is the accuser of the brethren before God, because Satan knows the Law of God. Gen 3:1,

Ge 3:1 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?

Here is the great pretender at his work. I imagine that the discussion between Eve and the serpent

went as follows: "Is it true that God has forbidden to eat from the fruit of every tree in the Garden?" It sounds like an ironical nagging: Can it be that God should forbid the eating of any tree whatsoever?" And then he tests the woman saying: "Why has God said this?" Now he is planting a doubt in her: "Has God even said this?" or: "Is it really so that God has said this?" And then Satan tries to rouse her envy: "Has God indeed declared that you should not dare to touch any tree? Look how I am snaking through all the trees of the Garden, and I am not hurt." And then he plants more doubt in her: "Is it possible that God is unwilling that you would touch the fruit of any tree in the Garden?" Now Eve responds by correcting the lie of Satan, and she says: "We may eat from all the trees in the Garden, except this one tree we may not touch it; it is not difficult to abstain from the fruit of this one tree, since others are supplied with abundance." By responding to Satan, she already lost the battle. Satan is far too clever, and he wins every debate with any man. The proper thing to do was to run away from him. But first she indicated that they would be most ungrateful if, instead of being content with such great abundance, they would desire more than what was lawful. And then she timidly added the penalty: "Lest ye die". And then the serpent saw his chance: " Look how I am climbing up this forbidden tree. I am touching it, and I did not die." And now we see that Eve did not have a proper understanding of the death that God had promised to Adam. She clearly proved to Satan, and to us, that her perception of the true danger of death was distant and cold. In this she had already fallen.

And is this not also what has caused people to depart from the living God in unbelief? Please turn now almost to the end of your Bibles, to the Second Epistle of Peter 1:20 (2X). Beginning with Cain this apostacy happened throughout the centuries, with almost all people, as soon as they have been born. But God, in His great mercy, allowed these words to be written down, so that we can study His Word, and God holds us accountable for studying His Word. For example, we read in II Pet 1:20,

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

These verses make it clear that it was not Moses, or Isaiah, or Hosea, or John who wrote the various documents in the Bible, but it was God who moved their hands and moved their tongue to speak and to write those things, which God wanted them to write down. Using the hands of holy men, God wrote this one Book that is called the Bible. That is why no passage of Scripture is left to any one man's private interpretation. We must adhere to the interpretation that God holds, and no other. We all must be jointly studying the same verses and compare Scripture with Scripture, as is the command of I Cor 2:13, "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual". For example, please turn about 50 pages to your left () to the First Epistle to Timothy 2:12 (2X). In this chapter God lays down some rules for how to pray to Him and how to worship Him in church. In verse 11 God says, "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection". Which means that women should be silent in the churches. Then we read,

1 Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1 Tim 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

God used the event of Gen 3:1-6 as His argument to keep women silent in the churches, and that women must not have authority over men in the churches. Likewise God said in no uncertain terms in I Cor 14:34, Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. This is the plain teaching of Scripture, and all the NT Scriptures support this principle. But men claim to know more than God, and in various churches men have decided to set aside this direct command from God. Most churches today have women in church office and have women as preachers. It is a flagrant violation of God's command. They have given in to the desires of the Devil. First they questioned God's Word, then they mustered up some human wisdom to neutralize God's law, and now they have gone the way of Eve.

Please turn in your Bibles about 510 pages to your left () to the Prophecy of Ezekiel 34:2 (2X). Who are these men who have set themselves above the Word of God? For the most part they are Elders and Pastors of churches who think they can do better than God. But God says in Ezek 34,

Entire congregations are slavishly following their leaders without questioning their actions. Here in Ezekiel 34 God addressed these leaders of the church. God says in verse 2,

Ezekiel 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

God spoke to the shepherds of Israel. Does this mean that God was only speaking to the leaders of the Jews of 3000 years ago? Of course not! The Bible was written for all people, throughout all times, both the OT and the NT time. God is speaking today, through this chapter, to the leaders of the churches that still contain true believers, who are called the Israel of God. And God says to them, "Woe to you shepherds; you feed yourselves, but you do not feed the flocks". Drop down to verse 5,

Ezekiel 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

This is what we see happening today all over the world. Entire churches go apostate, wandering from this teaching to that teaching, because they have no shepherd who really dares to stand up for the Word of God. Those who were appointed as shepherds were hirelings, who do not care for the souls of the flock. They only care about how to make their congregations larger in number, using any means the secular world has taught them, how to make businesses grow. But the poor congregations are not being fed the meat of the Word of God. And so, those who desire to hear the meat of the Word of God are wandering from church to church, but in most cases they do not find it. That is what we see happening today. Please turn about 480 pages to your right () to the Epistle to the Eph 1:3 (2X). Here is the meat that is not being preached in many churches today, because many preachers do not like a sovereign God who is always in control. They prefer a gospel where man can make some contribution to his salvation. But that is a man made gospel. God says in Eph 1, starting at V 3,

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 1:4-5, According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

God says that before the foundation of the world He has chosen a certain group of people unto salvation, whom He called His Elect. In this process of electing certain people, God had to bypass others whom He did not choose to be saved. These are called the Reprobate. We are not to worry and fret about the poor Reprobate who will end up in Hell. We must rejoice that our names are written in heaven. When God looked down the corridors of time He did not see good people and bad people. God saw all bad people, because "there is NONE that doeth good, NO NOT ONE". Therefore, if God wanted to save anyone, God had to do it Himself, and God had to decide whom He wanted to save and whom He wanted to pass by. That is why God says in Rom 9:11-13, let me just read that to you:

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Romans 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

This is how God defines election. Before the children were born, and before the children could have done any good or evil, God said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated", in order "that the purpose of God according to election might stand". Jacob was saved, but Esau remained Reprobate. Therefore to whom does the credit go for Jacob's salvation? 100% to God. But people do not like that. And preachers who knowingly and willingly withhold this information from their congregation, can be compared to Judas Iscariot. Judas was one of the inner circle around Jesus. Judas heard the details of the Gospel. Judas was one of the well informed. But Judas betrayed his Master for money. Compare that to Pastors and Elders who know the Bible very well. They belong to the inner circle of those who know what God has said. They know Rom 9, and Eph 1, and John 6, and many other verses that speak about God's Elect. But because this is a topic that is unpopular with the masses, they avoid preaching it. Instead they preach a gospel spawned by Satan. They preach a gospel that tells people: "God loves you. To receive His grace all you need to do is reach out to Jesus and accept Him". And this is how they fill their churches with baptized pagans, and this is how their consistories award their preachers higher and higher salaries, because they are "such good evangelists". But what have they done? They have betrayed their Master for money. Is it not true that "the love of money is the root of all evil" (I Tim 6:10)? All these are results of questioning God's Word. If we do not know what God has said, then we are easy targets for Satan. Like Eve was. Eve was stumbling into sin like one who did not know God's Word. So she was trapped in her own words. Let us be aware that one error leads to another. Do you remember what Satan said to Eve? Now he is:

#2. Accusing God of Lying (Gen 3:4, Matt 6:24, Prov 13:24,19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14)

Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Throughout the Scriptures God taught us many principles. And when we throw these principles in the wind, we actually accuse God of lying. This is the stage when we are not just questioning God's Word, but we are positioning ourselves absolutely against certain things God has said. Just like the serpent said to Eve: "Ye shall not surely die". This is the lie that continues to penetrate the world. They say: "God loves everybody and God does not want to throw people in Hell; there is no Hell". This is a lie that is continuing to make inroads into many churches. But God says: "There are only two destinations in the life hereafter, Heaven and Hell. Focus on where you are going, because most people go to Hell". But most churches do not focus on salvation. Instead their focus is on a gospel that makes you feel good in this present life, and on a god who will forgive you anyway. God warned us that fornicators and drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. But people say: It is OK if you experiment with sex or with drugs. "You shall not surely die". God says: "Homosexuals shall not inherit the Kingdom of God", but people say, "Gay is OK. You have been born with a missing gene. You really cannot help it because you have been born that way". "You shall not surely die".

Please turn about 325 pages to your left () to the Gospel according to Matthew 6:24 (2X). The Sermon on the Mount is written in Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7. In this section of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus speaks about "Laying up Treasures in Heaven". This is what saved people regularly do. Are we laying up treasures in Heaven? Of course, with it comes the awareness of whom we are serving. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 6:24,

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

This is plain language. We cannot serve God and money. Either we will serve God, or we will serve money and despise God's Word. How can we know if we are serving our money? When we cannot find time to read the Word of God, then we are getting entangled in the affairs of this world (2X). And we are on the verge of serving our money, rather than God. Shall we be wiser than God? Shall we deny what God has written?

Let us apply this to the present sermon. If we listen to a sermon and we eliminate the things we do not like, or we say, "Well, that does not pertain to me", then we are actually picking and choosing our own style of religion, regardless what the Word of God says. What have we done? We have called God a liar in those things that are plainly stated in the Bible, but we do not believe it.

For example, please turn about 450 pages to your left () to the Proverbs of Solomon, chapter 13:24 (2X). God has many practical things to say about raising children. Most people do not believe everything in God's Word. It is as if their life consists of two compartments. On Sunday they take their Bible to church, read from it, close it, and when they leave the church it is as if they have closed the door of one compartment of their life, and they now step into another compartment that is regulated by different norms, and different rules, and different gods. This is what happened to raising children. They heard what God said, but will they apply it? In Prov 13:24 God says,

Prov 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

This is plain and simple, is it not? If we do not spank our children, we hate them. This is what God says. Do we believe God, or are we wiser than God? Turn 7 pages to your right to Prov 19:18(2X)

Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Again, God says that we must chasten our children, especially sons, because when we chasten them there is hope for them that they do not continue to slide into Hell. Let me read to you 2 more:

Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

With all this abundance of evidence in the Bible, telling parents not to forget to spank their children how could it be that corporal punishment has gotten such a bad name in today's society? These verses were in the Bible for 3500 years, but only in the past 50 years or so the people of the US believed that they could pick and choose from the Bible, and they stopped believing and applying these words from God. Today it has gotten so bad that if you spank your child, the government could accuse you of child abuse, and you could lose your child. This would never have happened if all the Christians had been firm on applying the Word of God in their lives. But this is what happens when people accuse God of lying. Let us now turn back to Gen 3:5 (2X). We have seen that Satan first planted doubts in the ears of Eve, then he accused God of lying, but now he is:

#3. Attacking the Character of God (Gen 3:5-6, I John 2:15-16). Satan says in Gen 3:5,

Genesis 3:5 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.

Let me paraphrase this in my own words. Satan says: "God is a killjoy. He does not want to share with you the full benefit of participating in His glory. If you eat from the fruit of this tree "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil". But God is jealous, and therefore He wants to keep you in an inferior rank. God fears to have you as His companions. That is the single reason why He has defrauded you of eating from this tree." So, Satan pretends that Divine glory can be obtained by perfectly knowing good and evil. Did Eve believe it? She swallowed this lie hook, line and sinker. We read in Gen 3:6,

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

She forgot that the faith she had in the Word of God was the best guardian of her heart and of all her senses. But now that her heart had drifted away from the faith, she corrupted both herself and her husband. Instantly depravity diffused through all parts of her soul and body, and she enticed Adam to be a partaker of this crime. Their unbelief was the root of their defection. But what was the final straw that caused Eve to commit this crime? She saw that it was good for food, it was pleasant to the eyes, and she desired to become wise. The same greed is still with us in the world today. God says in:

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

This defines the greed of man throughout the centuries. God says that this greed is a love for worldliness. Nothing but a love for the pleasures of this world, and no regard for the world hereafter. God says that these things are not originating from Him. If anyone loves this worldliness, he cannot be a child of God. Right away we see that we want nothing to do with such an attitude. What then should we strive for? We should strive for Godliness. What does the Bible say about Godliness?

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to Timothy 6:3 (2X). We were in 1st Timothy before, earlier in the sermon, so it will be easy to find. In this chapter God addresses slaves and how they must be give honor to their worldly masters. To apply this today means that employees must count their superiors worthy of all honor. Then God says in I Tim 6:3,

1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

1 Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that (worldly) gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

What really is the doctrine according to godliness? Godliness is devotion toward God, and an obedient submission to God's commandments, out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. This is how Godliness shows itself in the master- slave relationship. It is the result of our desire to obey our Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has commanded us to love our fellow man, and to honor our worldly masters, in order "that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed". Do not get entangled with worldly gain, "but godliness with contentment is great gain". This is how we must live. In our battle against the enticements of Satan we keep our eyes on Jesus, which means that we will continually read and meditate on His Word. Look at how Jesus fought with Satan; He answered him with Scripture. Let me read to you from:

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Therefore, if we desire to be able soldiers for Jesus, we must recognize when Satan comes to us with something that seems just a small error. It starts small, like with Eve, and it will grow into a big fat lie. I Tim 6:3 speaks of someone who does not know God's Word, like Eve. But since we now have the complete Word of God, we are held accountable for reading it and knowing what it says. We are accountable, but we cannot resist the Devil without God's grace. It is only by God's grace that we will persevere in the faith. And God's promise is that as we read His Word we will continue to grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we can believe this, we can sing with the saints of the past 100 years these words:

Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast; shelter me safe in that haven of rest (2X).

Only my sinful, now contrite heart; grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart (2X).

All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride; give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified (2X).

Through endless ages, ever to be nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee (2X).

These are the words of Hymn # 454 that we are going to sing in a few minutes. Praise God for all His wondrous works, including all the work He foreordained in the Garden of Eden to His honor and glory.

Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.