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The first thing the serpent did with the woman was to challenge what God had said. He questioned her by asking, "Yea, hath God said…?" (v. 1). This is what Satan continually does. He tries to challenge what God has said in His Word.
I want us to look in Genesis, chapter 3, at some of Satan's devices in his attempt to destroy man. He is still using these same tactics today to get at unsuspecting individuals who are trying to follow and serve God. As the apostle Paul said, "we are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices" (2 Cor. 2:11).

The Word of God tells us that people can be drawn away and enticed (James 1:14). Satan always comes and challenges what God has said, as he did with the woman in Genesis, saying to her, "Did God really say this?"

Remember, the woman found out from her husband what God had said. She wasn't there when God said it, because she hadn't been created yet. So Adam told her about it. That's called communication. There is supposed to be communication between a husband and his wife.

Now you may say, "But I just can't talk to people." Then you don't need to get married yet. It's time you came out of your shell. You have to be willing to communicate and make yourself vulnerable to another person. That means you have to start talking - period.

The only way two married people can form a bond and really get things done is by communicating with one another.

God had said to Adam, "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it…" (Gen. 2:17). God didn't tell him not to touch it; He just said, "Thou shalt not eat of it."

But when Adam talked to the woman, from what she said we can see he told her two things about what God had said: "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" (Gen. 3:2-3).

She was telling the serpent what Adam had told her. Now these words, "…neither shall ye touch it…" were Adam's addition. He had said to her, "Not only are we not to eat it, we are not even to touch it, lest we die."

Now I want you to notice Satan's approach. The first thing he did was to come and challenge what God had said. There are some avenues Satan takes to try and stop people from fulfilling God's will for their lives. Let's consider some of the ways in which he operates.

Challenging What the Lord Says
Satan is always asking questions like, "Is that really what the Bible says? Is that really what it means?"

The first thing the serpent did with the woman was to challenge what God had said. He questioned her by asking, "Yea, hath God said…?" (v. 1).

This is what Satan continually does. He tries to challenge what God has said in His Word. He questions the believer, saying, "If you are really healed, then how come…? If God really provides for your needs, then how come…?"

Appealing to Lust
The next thing Satan did in the garden was to appeal to the woman's lust. Notice what he said to her in verse 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."

The devil was appealing to her lust of having control, and he is doing the same thing today. Now I'm not referring just to the woman of today; Satan deals this way with all of mankind. People have a lust to be their own god.

That's what humanism is all about. It says, "We don't need any God; we are our own god." This kind of teaching can be found in today's universities, and humanism is a religion.

When people push for the separation of church and state, they are meaning the separation of state and Christianity. Humanism is a religion that is being taught every day in universities. I know; I graduated from a university and I heard it for myself.

Satan appeals to the lust of people being their own god and doing things their own way—without Almighty God. If you are your own god, then you know good and evil, and you can decide to do whatever you want.

Satan tries to find out what appeals to you so that he can use it against you. It might be your intellect or it might be education. There is nothing wrong with either of these, but you have to watch and keep them in their proper perspective.

What appeals to you might be power or money or attention or fame. Just as he did with the woman in the garden, Satan will say to you, "Oh, God doesn't want you to have that. He knows if you get it, you'll be…." He will try anything he can to find something that will draw you away and entice you.

Note James 1:15: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." That means if you don't put a stop to that lust when Satan brings it to you, it will conceive. Then lust, when it has conceived, will bring forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, will bring forth death.

Lust. That's what Satan was doing with the woman in Genesis: he came and enticed her. Lust, if not checked, will cause you to fall into sin just as it did with her.

Bringing Attention to the Forbidden
I don't believe the woman had even noticed the tree in the garden prior to Satan pointing it out to her. She had been in the garden all that time with her man, but do you know what she saw? Her man. Satan had to point out this tree to her. That's what he does. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…."

The woman paid attention to what was forbidden. Immediately she saw that it was desirable and pretty. Paying attention to what Satan offers you will get you into trouble every time.

Satan wants you to pay attention to that which is forbidden. He will try to get you to look at it, meditate on it and think about it. If you don't reject it then and there, but just keep on thinking about it, you will fall into a snare.

When a man keeps looking at a woman with the feelings of desire in his heart, he will be enticed. Now the Bible does not say that just looking on a woman is sin; but as Jesus said, Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matt. 5:28).

Something Pleasant to the Sight
"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…" (Gen. 3:6). She paid attention to the forbidden fruit, and when she did, she saw that it was desirable. It was something pretty for her to look at.

Satan will always approach us at our weakest link. If he had seen Adam as the weak one, he would have moved through him. But in this case the woman was the weak one, so he moved through her. He came at her by approaching an area that was natural for women, because women like things that are pretty.

Something That Feels Good
"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…" (Gen. 3:6). Then the woman touched the fruit. She put her hands on it.

So be challenged. There will be an appeal to your lusts. First, you will look, then you will listen, then you will touch.

Now I'm not just talking about sex here. I'm not even talking about the relationship between men and women. Satan can use anything—basketball, sewing, education, food or anything that's good—to pry you away from God. He will use whatever he can to take precedence over what God has said in His Word.

When your desire or interest for a certain thing is soaking up your time and attention, Satan will use it to try and drive a wedge between you and God.

Partaking of the Forbidden
"…She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Gen. 3:6). First, she touched the forbidden; then she partook of it.

Touching it will cause you to partake of it. Then when you partake of it, the door is opened for sin. Whenever you step out and do something that is forbidden, Satan will work at causing you to pass it on to somebody else.

Satan is the author of venereal disease, which came about because of sin and unlawful acts against the Word of God. An example of this would be men involving themselves with bestiality. In writing the Law through Moses, God had to speak specifically against people who were having sex with animals and, as a result, had picked up diseases. After sin came along, the effects of that sin were passed along to others.

When you get over into sin, Satan will always try to convince you to become involved with somebody else. That's what happens with venereal diseases, as they are passed on to others.

Passing it to Others
When the woman ate of the fruit, she died spiritually. Then she passed some of it to her husband. When he ate of it, he died spiritually.

That's the way Satan always works through sin. Sin will entice you and hurt you, yet its effect will cause you to pass it on to someone else.

When the woman took that fruit, Adam was standing right there with her. All that time, he had heard what Satan was saying through the serpent. He heard God being challenged. He saw that the woman was interested. He heard what she said and saw what she did. At any point he could have put a stop to it.

But what we are seeing is a man who failed to live up to his responsibilities. As the head of his wife, Adam had been given the responsibility to protect her. The woman was made to be protected and looked after by him.

Adam was there when it all happened, but he did nothing. She was out of order and he was out of order. That's when the enemy, Satan, was able to come into the situation. When allowed to move into people's lives, he will come in like an 18-wheeler and roll everybody over.

The Result Was Death
God had said, "…in the day that thou eatest thereof [of this tree] thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). So that which God had said would happen actually took place.

Now let's look in First Timothy, chapter 2. I find this Scripture to be rather enlightening on the subject of what happened in that particular incident in the garden. The woman allowed herself to be tricked by the devil; but as the Word tells us, Adam was not deceived.

"For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2:13-14).

The woman was deceived, but she got deceived because she listened. She should have said to the serpent, "No, God and my husband have said…." Instead, she listened to the serpent and let him lead her off in the wrong direction.

She allowed lust to grab onto her. She allowed her eyes to cause her to be enticed. Then after touching the fruit, she said, "This is all right to the touch." But she was tricked. One meaning of the word trick is to deceive. Satan is the deceiver of all mankind.

The woman was deceived, but this Scripture from First Timothy tells us that Adam was not deceived. He understood what was happening. He knew what was going on. He heard it all. He was there with the female Adam—the woman.

Adam's Choice
"…She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Gen. 3:6). So Adam was faced with a choice again.

He passed the initial test, which came before the woman had been created. God had said to him, "Because you have done the work, you can partake of the fruit of every tree in this garden except for one." So Adam didn't touch that fruit. He was obedient to God's command.

When the woman ate the fruit and then offered it to him, he could have said to her: "I told you not to eat of it, but you did it anyway. I don't know what's going to happen to you now. But I can't eat it because God said not to. I don't even want to touch it. Don't give it to me."

Adam knew all the time what was going on, and he had a choice. It was his decision about which way he would go. But he made a big mistake, the same mistake men and women are making, even years later: choosing women or men over God, choosing fame above everything else, caring more about what people think than what God has said.

I can tell you exactly what happened to Adam at that moment. They had been living in the glory of God; so when the woman partook of that forbidden fruit, the glory of God left her. Immediately Adam could see a difference. Then she held it out there in front of him, as if to say, "Come be with me."

Adam kept looking at her and thinking about what God had said. The fact is, he remembered what God had said. She was tricked, but he was not. In effect, she kept saying to him, "Come on—it's all right."

Then he said, "Give it to me!"

When he took it, he plunged into disobedience with her; and, like her, he died instantly.

They didn't die physically, but spiritually. In effect, they had fallen from grace. Before dying physically, Adam lived 930 years and fathered children upon children upon children.

Adam and Eve's son Cain killed his brother Abel, but it took Satan more than 900 years to find other ways to kill man. What took him 930 years to find a way to kill the first man, now takes only 70 or 80 years. He keeps working at it by filling mankind with care and worry and fear by which they can destroy themselves.

Source: What On Earth Are We Here For? by Keith Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Keith Butler
Keith Butler has been an ordained minister since 1974. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds diplomas from Canada Christian College and Rhema Bible Training Center. He serves in ministry with the support of his lovely wife, Pastor Deborah L. Butler, and their children: Pastor Andre Butler (granddaughters Alexis, Angela, and April), Pastor MiChelle Ferguson and husband Pastor Lee (grandson Lucas), and Minister Kristina Jenkins and husband Pastor Joel (grandsons Andrew and Austin, and granddaughter Alyssa).

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