In short, it was God’s intention that his first couple, Adam and Eve, were to procreate and cultivate the Garden of Eden until it covered the entire earth, filled with humans worshipping him. – Genesis 1:28
If the first couple had not rebelled, they and their offspring could have lived forever. – Genesis 2:15-17
One of the angels in heaven (who became Satan), abused his free will (Jam. 1:14-15). He chose to rebel against God, using a lowly serpent to contribute to Adam and Eve abusing their free will, and disobeying God, believing they did not need him, and could walk on their own. – Genesis 3:1-6; Job 1-2.
God removed the rebellious Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23-24) The first human couple had children, but they all grew old and eventually died. (Gens 3:19; Rom. 5:12), just as the animals died. – Ecclesiastes 3:18-20
This battle for the mind began with Adam and Eve. You will likely remember that God laid only one restriction upon the first human couple, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen. 2:17, ESV) Adam must have gone over this restriction with his new wife often and very well as Eve had it memorized and took it more serious than is usually taught. Satan, as the serpent hanging from the tree, was very clever and ingenious in how he indirectly said, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1) The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” – Genesis 3:2-3.
Notice how Eve, not only responded with the correct answer, but she was also very emphatic, going beyond the actual command, saying that they were to not only not eat from the tree, but they were not to even touch it. “You can be sure that you will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “God knows that when you eat the fruit of that tree, you will know things you have never known before. You will be able to tell the difference between good and evil. You will be like God.” (Gen 3:4-5) The woman made two mistakes at that moment, (1) she did not consult her head, Adam, and (2) she entertained, cultivated this misleading, slanderous information. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. Afterward she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.”–Genesis 3:6
Here Eve was deceived because she looked at the tree differently than she had before. Eve lost the battle for her mind based on this supposedly new set of “truths,”
- She would not die,
- the fruit of the tree would make her wise,
- She would be like God, independent, able to determine for herself what is good and what is bad, setting her own standard.
Now, this one tree looked no different from any of the other thousands of trees in the Garden of Eden. Yet Eve now says ‘the fruit of the tree looked good, it was pleasing to look at.’ The human eyes are the window to the human mind-heart, the seat of motivation. Eve, even though she was perfect, meaning that her natural desire was to do good, stumbled based on the principle that James gave his readers. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15
We notice too that Satan was so crafty that he was able to deceive another perfect creature to go against the grain of her perfected leanings, and violate God’s one prohibition, even though it had been so deeply ingrained in her. Eve was misled by misinformation and lies that were ingeniously presented in a very subtle, indirect way. Notice Paul’s words to the first-century Corinthian congregation, “But I am afraid lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds may be led astray from the sincerity and the purity of devotion to Christ.” Yes, Satan has misled Eve by his craftiness, leading her mind astray from what she knew to be true, getting her to accept the lie. – 2 Corinthians 11:3.
Later Bible texts establish Satan the Devil as the one using a serpent as his mouthpiece like a ventriloquist would a dummy. Anyway, take note that Satan contradicts the clear statement made by God to Adam in Genesis 2:17, “you will not surely die.” Backing up a little, we see Satan asking an inferential question, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” First, he is overstating what he knows to be true, not “any tree,” just one tree. Second, Satan is inferring, ‘I can’t believe that God would say . . . how dare he say such.’ Notice too that Eve has been told so thoroughly about the tree that she even goes beyond what Adam told her, not just that you ‘do not eat from it,’ no, ‘you do not even touch it!’ Then, Satan out and out lied and slandered God as a liar, saying that ‘they would not die.’ To make matters much worse, he infers that God is withholding good from them, and by rebelling they would be better off, being like God, ‘knowing good and bad.’ This latter point is not knowledge of; it is the self-sovereignty of choosing good and bad for oneself, and act of rebellion for created creatures. What was symbolized by the tree is well expressed in a footnote on Genesis 2:17, in The Jerusalem Bible (1966):
This knowledge is a privilege which God reserves to himself and which man, by sinning, is to lay hands on, 3:5, 22. Hence it does not mean omniscience, which fallen man does not possess; nor is it moral discrimination, for unfallen man already had it and God could not refuse it to a rational being. It is the power of deciding for himself what is good and what is evil and of acting accordingly, a claim to complete moral independence by which man refuses to recognise his status as a created being. The first sin was an attack on God’s sovereignty, a sin of pride.
(1) Satan called God a liar and said he was not to be trusted, as to the life or death issue.
(2) Satan’s challenge, therefore, took into question the right and legitimacy of God’s rightful place as the Universal Sovereign.
(3) Satan also suggested that people would remain obedient to God only as long as their submitting to God was to their benefit.
(4) Satan all but said that humankind was able to walk on his own, there being no need for dependence on God.
(5) Satan argued that man could be like God, choosing for himself what is right and wrong.
(6) Satan claimed that God’s way of ruling was not in the best interests of humans, and they could do better without God.
Job 1:6-11 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”
Job 2:4-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life.5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”
This general reference to “a man,” as opposed to explicitly naming Job, is suggesting that all men [and women] will only obey God when things are good, but when the slightest difficulty arises, he will not obey. If you were put to the test, would you prove your love for your heavenly Father and show that you preferred His rule to that of any other?
|Psalm 51:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
|Romans 5:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
God created both Adam and Eve perfect, with the outlook of living for eternity. However, he did give them free will, meaning they could have chosen to obey or disobey. He wanted them to obey him because of their love for him. They had the ability to love him even more fully than any imperfect human that has ever lived. Satan, the Devil succeeded in getting Adam to rebel through his love for Eve.
Adam was not deceived; he simply chose that his love was greater for Eve than it was for his Creator. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14 is not shifting the blame on Eve; it is Adam, who was responsible for sin, old age and death entering the world of humankind. (Rom. 5:12, 19; 1 Cor. 15:22) Unlike Eve, he was not deceived by the lie that they would not die, or that God was withholding good from them, such as special knowledge. Both Adam and Eve intentionally and willfully went on a course of self-resolve, and rebellion against God. Adam’s sin was far more severe than that of Eve. Moreover, it is his status as the head of Eve and the human race, which laid the full accountability at his feet. However, we must realize that Adam also fell in the battle for his mind. Satan likely observed the couple for some time and came to believe that he would choose Eve, the newer person to the Garden of Eden first. Further, Satan must have believed that Adam would selfishly desire Eve over his Creator. In the end, Satan won this first battle for the minds of Adam and Eve. – Genesis 2:17; 3:1-19; 5:3-5; compare Deuteronomy 32:4 and Revelation 12:9.
Satan got his rebellion, but he could not keep his worshipers alive. Sin began in the first human couple the moment Adam sinned, which meant any offspring would inherit that sin, i.e., missing the mark of perfection. Yes, Adam and Eve, once outside the Garden of Eden could only produce imperfect offspring, which inherited sin and death.