1. The devil is the serpent who tempted them
While the word serpent is used literally in scriptures, it is used figuratively to represent wicked people who are venemous like serpents (Ps 58: 4); people who bite when they are not charmed (Ecc 10: 11). The word dragon is also used in both Old and New Testament as a synonym for serpent. For example:
- Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon (Strongs 8577 = tanniyn) shalt thou trample under feet (Ps 91: 13)
- For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents (Strongs 8577 = tanniyn) : but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods (Ex 7: 12)
Rev 12: 9 is the scripture that clearly shows that the devil is the serpent that taught Adam and Eve to sin:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child (Rev 12: 7, 9, 13)
This scripture refers also to past events when the devil rebelled and was cast out into the earth. Chief Prince Michael cast him out of heaven so hard that Jesus chuckled and said that he fell like lightning (Luke 10: 18). Once on the earth, Eve became a target.
Genesis 3: 1 explains that the devil, the serpent (Strongs 5175 = nachash) was more subtil or crafty (Strongs H6175 = `aruwm) than any beast of the field.
2. Eve had befriended the devil, spending time with him
God called the devil a beast, a derogatory statement. Micheal told me that the devil is not even worthy to be called an “it”. That beast, the devil, used a friendly approach which led to Eve succumbing to his teachings. God revealed this friendship between them when He told the serpent that He would break up their friendship and cause them to hate each other:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Gen 3: 15).
God’s words to the devil shows us that Eve and the devil had become great friends, although they had been expressly forbidden. The Lord had told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, Eve was presented with a mixture of truth and lies. The devil spoke truth when he said that her eyes would open and that she would become like a god, knowing good and evil if she did what he said. However, she believed him rather than God when he lied and said that she would not die.
She and the devil had become friends. She looked at his presentation and saw that the tree THE DEVIL, was pleasant (she did not discern the deception). Furthermore, she really believed that he had the ability to make them “wise” (Gen 3: 6). Eve became resentful, believing that God had hidden knowledge from them and that she and Adam should have access to this knowledge. Following the devil’s instructions, she and her husband did all kinds of things that God knew would harm their spirits and their relationship with Him.
3. The devil, representing the tree of knowledge of good and evil influenced them to do so
Why did God permit the devil into the earth? That’s another discussion. Why was he called the tree of knowledge of good and evil? (Gen 2: 9). What is bad about “good”? Minister Winston first taught me in 2006 that God used the imagery of a tree to represent people – Satan (tree of knowledge of good and evil) and Jesus (Tree of Life). Following God’s example, writers in Scripture continued with the imagery. For example, the writer of Psalm 1 compared those who walked in God’s ways to trees that bring forth fruit in his season (Ps 1: 3). Adam and Eve were warned not to eat from the tree. That is, do not eat its fruit.
4. They sinned because they believed satan’s knowledge and submitting to his way of evil, gained access to death
Eve, having listened to this pleasant-looking devil, took what he said and invited Adam to join in the quest for his version of knowledge and wisdom. However, we have spoken already about the disastrous effects. What was the fruit that Eve ate? Was it an apple, as we commonly say? As I said in the previous post, the word fruit is used literally in scripture until Proverbs 8, when it is used figuratively. My mind blew when I read this chapter this morning and I had to do so repeatedly.
God’s wisdom, which existed before the earth, is personified, crying to us to listen to it. The chapter does three things:
- highlights the characteristics of wisdom, which is really an element of God’s character or Spirit
- it contrasts God’s wisdom with the devil’s wisdom
- it reveals that God is the source of true wisdom (Prov 8: 22-34
Wisdom is a characteristic of God’s Spirit and those who respect Him will also be wise. God, who is Wisdom, reveals this as follows. God:
- has an excellent spirit (like Jesus and Daniel)
- speaks right things, truth (satan lied), righteousness
- hates to speak wickedness, or anything froward or perverse
- is prudent
- discovers witty inventions
- hates evil, pride, arrogancy, a froward mouth
- counsels right, gives sound wisdom, is understanding and strength
- bestows power to kings, nobles and princes
- gives judges the ability judge
- loves those who love Him
- reveals Himself to those who seek Him early
- gives durable or lasting riches and honor (not one that is gained by foul means)
- is the way of righteousness and judgement (Adam, Eve and the devil were judged fairly)
God is the source of wisdom/He is wisdom
In very eloquent and majestic words, Proverbs 8: 22- 32 shows that God was wisdom before the beginning, from everlasting, even before the earth was created and at its creation. His way leads to joy, blessings, wealth, life and favor with God.
Proverbs 8 shows some of the elements of the spirit of the devil. Satan is every thing that God is not. He is perverse, lacking understanding, a liar, perverse, speaks and does evil. He is froward (Strongs 8419) – lacking faith in God (Deut 32: 20); speaks evil things (Prov 2: 12); rejoices and delights in evil (Prov 2: 14), plans evil and mischief and sows discord (Prov 6: 14 and 16: 30); does not speak what is acceptable (Prov 10: 32); spreads tales and separates chief friends (Prov 16: 28); lusts after women and commits adultery in the heart (Prov 23: 33).
Now I would like to ask if you know anyone with any of these characteristics. You do? Then think of what the devil is possibly like on a small scale. Using Proverbs 8 as reference, you can explore the Hebrew words relating to the elements of God’s wisdom. This will point you to all that the devil is not. I hope that this teaching instructed you just as it instructed me. Let us pray that God will give us the spirit of discernment that He possesses. He answered all of the questions in the Garden, needing no one to tell Him exactly what had happened. If you are weak and falling to temptations, there are many ways in which you can be helped. Start by confessing, asking for cleansing, then walking with the Lord for protection and deliverance from the evil one.