Do not eat
I guess you know what this means. Adam was placed in the garden like a soldier on guard duty. He was stationed there to dress and preserve the garden. Other meanings for dress are to work to till, enslave, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, execute, labour, bring to pass, cause someone or something to serve and to be a worshipper.
You might think Adam lived in the lap of luxury, sitting beside a pool, picking a grape off a vine and talking to the animals. He did—but he was also there for a purpose!
He was not there to be a keeper of the aquarium, but to exercise dominion and in the process, served God.
Let us continue.
And יהוה Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Ěḏen to work it and to guard it.
Adam was commanded to guard this garden. The Hebrew word is shāmar. It means to fence the garden around as if it was a hedge of thorns. It means to protect it and to do that, Adam had to be on guard, to be alert, to observe things and watch over everything.
If he was inside, then he had to keep something or someone out. You guessed it...that serpent. Now before you start leaping to conclusions and start thinking snake, was it really a slithering legless “snake”? Backtrack a little to the time God presented all of the creatures He had made to Adam who named them. Surely He made alligators, crocodiles, lizards and—snakes. Where were they? Did Adam name them before God picked him up and placed him in the garden?
If they were all in the garden with Adam, snakes were there also and were not a threat. Perhaps this entity came from outside. If so, who or what was it? Opinions vary of course as to whether this was a satan-inspired snake or a name for satan himself.
The Hebrew uses a word nāḥāsh for serpent in the text.
It relates to a snake because of its hiss—but this thing spoke! I found some very interesting topics during my research.
Serpents are usually regarded as evil and poisonous and something to be avoided, yet God commanded Moses in Numbers 21:6-9 to make a brass serpent.
Anyone who looked on it lived if a real snake bit them. In this instance it was “good”. The word nāḥāsh is almost the same as the word that means bronze or copper from which Moses’ serpent was made. From 2 Kings 18:4 we can assume that the bronze serpent became a relic a religious fetish and that the people of God acting like ordinary men, started to worship it. The name given it was Nehushtan, that might refer to the words nāḥāsh (snake) and neḥōshet (brass). This is exactly what the devil wants—false worship. Whatever it was, this creature seems to have been outside the garden and Adam was supposed to keep alert and not allow it in. After all, he was in charge. He was God’s vice-regal agent and could have and should have done so.
He never closed the gate!
Where did it come from? This is pure conjecture, but please look at this-
Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.
And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven.
This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Revelation 12:7-9
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 seem to infer that Lucifer was cast out and landed on the earth. Perhaps this is where this being came from. It seems to line up with the chaotic and ruined state of the earth as previously described. He could have been there when God made man and the angels were witnesses! When they all saw what God had created, they were amazed. If Lucifer saw it also, imagine how he would have seethed and wanted God’s plan wrecked. He wanted what Adam had. He coveted the glory. He wanted to be ruler and when Adam gave it to him, the legal rights were transferred to him and Lucifer got it all—except for the worship. He took Jesus to a high place and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, offering them to the Lord.
He wanted the glory and the worship.
I guess that his problem was how to go about getting it.
If this is true, then the next step was to probe for a flaw or a weak point somewhere. This is what Peter said he does today.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Always remember that he is Not a roaring lion, but is As a roaring lion. He is a con man as I often say, so don’t fall for his tricks. He is Seeking whom he May devour. This means that he wanders around putting his hands on door locks and twisting them to see if one is open. If one is unlocked, he has potential entry, so we are told to shut the gate. If you do all that God tells you about this, the devil must flee. That’s what the word of God says. All you have to do is not to give him an opportunity to do his thing. Ephesians 4:17-32 is a good way to make sure you have the door to your life shut and locked. Check it out.
We really do not know all that happened in the garden, but somehow he got in. Adam had to have failed. Where was he when the serpent started talking to Eve? Why didn't he tell that serpent to get out of there? He had the ability and the authority, but somehow the serpent found a way in—and he walked in.
When God spoke to it, He said that the serpent would crawl on its belly from that day on and eat dust.
Perhaps this is where poisonous snakes came from? I don’t know, but it is interesting.
What we permit will happen and our activity or inactivity determines the outcome. I found an interesting passage that comes from Ecclesiastes 10:8-
...whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
Had Adam “broken” the hedge? If so, how would he have done that? The only thing I can think of is disregard for God’s word to him. God had issued a command. Adam had done everything else but ignored one element-
What do we do?
Yhwh, God, took the human and set him in the garden of Eden,to work it and to watch it.
Yhwh, God, commanded concerning the human, saying:
From every (other) tree of the garden you may eat, yes, eat, but from the Tree of the Knowing of Good and Evil—you are not to eat from it,
for on the day that you eat from it, you must die, yes, die. Genesis 2:15-17
It was after this that God made Eve. There is conjecture about the human’s gender here. Some people think that the human was created with both male and female genes etc in the same body and what God did was to take the feminine parts out. I am not sure either way about that, but one thing comes to mind. Females possess XX chromosomes and Males have XY Chromosomes. If the being had three X’s and one Y, God could have simply taken two of those X’s out and we call it “Adam’s rib”?
Whatever it was, God had commanded this person not to eat the fruit—before that operation. The question remains therefore as to whether both genders heard the command then or did Adam tell Eve about it later?
When the serpent came to Eve, he had to first get past Adam. He was not prevented in asking her, “Did God really say that”? Sowing seeds of doubt into our minds is a common ploy satan uses today. The main battlefield is really between our ears. Paul explained it this way-
Of course we are human, but we don't fight like humans.
The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God.
With them we destroy people's defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
It is the purely intellectual approach to the things of God that offend Him and divide us. They are the basis of all the splits and divisions, sects and cults and denominational differences that abound today. Instead of fighting each other, we should pause and ask a question.
“What does God say on the matter at hand?” The serpent asked a simple and correct question-
...“Is it true that Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
God had indeed given that command. He did say that they could eat off every tree, except one. All the serpent did was get her thinking. She replied-
We are to 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, Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of it, nor touch it, lest you die.’ verses 2 & 3.
God never said that they were not to touch it! They may have had to touch it to pick the fruit—but God never specifically mentioned that. Eve added it! Religion changes what God really said…
One area in which we succumb to the devil’s tricks is to partially read what God has said, to have selective hearing, to assume something, or to make His word fit into our beliefs and desires! We assume too many things. I like using the example of the wise men in the nativity scene. The bible never said that there were three wise men. It merely says wise men from the east who presented three kinds of gifts to a baby who could have been two years of age at the time.
Check it out.
You owe it to yourself and to others you may influence to “get it right”. See Acts 17:11.
The serpent knew what button to push to evoke the response he sought. Eve listened to its whispers. She entered into a conversation with it. She looked at the tree and started to think…
It is when you change channels the way you do to a TV receiver and transfer your attention from the spirit and concentrate on the natural, we start straying.
Paul told us in Galatians 5:16 to walk in the spirit so that we would not pamper the lusts or desires of the flesh. The old flesh nature wants to come back. This is why we need to crucify it, daily if needs be. James spoke about it this way-
Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one.
But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).
Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. James 1:13-15
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.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17
Sometimes we cannot avoid being confronted by something. These things happen, but we can control our thought life. It is when we keep thinking about it, that it starts to become a problem. We think on it and keep thinking about it until it seems to overwhelm us and then we do it.
Eve thought about it. The more she thought about it, the more she looked at the fruit and the more she started to think she wanted it, even needed it, but she already had it! God had already given them all they would ever need and had made them just like a carbon copy or mirror image of Himself.
When Eve looked, it appealed to her natural man. She saw that the tree was good for food, but God had already given her all the food she needed. She saw that it was pleasant to the eye, but God had provided everything that was absolutely beautiful, including gold and precious gemstones. She also saw that this tree was desirable for making her wise, but God had already given them His wisdom, because they were created to be like Him. She started to think that she could be like God, but she already was like Him! She wanted to elevate herself and reach up to the same height as God in the same way those people did when they decided to build the tower of Babel.
The serpent conned her into believing that she could have more, but she already had everything and she then picked a piece of fruit. Was it the fruit that caused them to open their eyes or was it the tree itself—or, what it represented—the wisdom and knowledge of God? But they already had that also! All this time, Adam was beside her! Whose fault was it?
He should have told her not to have a discussion with that thing. He should have told her not to pick that fruit. He should have kept the garden gate closed and forbidden the serpent to come in.
Perhaps this is the cause of the fall and not the actual eating of a piece of fruit. We concentrate on the stuff, but it’s not the literal money or possessions that is the problem. It is the desires and cravings that cause the problems.
It’s OK to have “stuff” or things, providing they do not control you. It is the emphasis made on them that is risky. The world that is often mentioned, is the world system that Satan now controls. It is the way things are done his way, but we are to seek first...the kingdom of God, which is His way of doing things and everything else will be added to us.
There is also a principle of not wanting to accept responsibility for things. God asked her what happened and she said it was the serpent’s fault. God asked Adam what happened and he said it was her fault. He turned to the serpent and it was speechless.
See ourselves as God sees us
WHAT do we do today? Well, Jesus destroyed the works of the devil according to 1 John 3:8. The Greek word for works is ergon from which we derive our word for energy. That’s talking about power, or the ability to do what a machine is designed to do. Take the battery out of your computer mouse and it will cease its ability to function. It is still there, but has no ability to affect the computer. Jesus took the devil’s battery out! The important thing to remember is that we are now in Christ. If you are born again, God lives inside you. In John 10, He said-
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.
My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand.
I and the Father are One. John 10:27-30
Read it carefully several times. He then said (in verse 34) that the scriptures say we are gods (lower case g)! This is the status the serpent craved and he couldn’t get it. He then set about making sure that if he couldn’t have it, neither should we and he has not changed his mind. The Lord also said that we are His friends—provided we continue in His love and keep His commandments, adding that friends share things with each other. We are not servants who do not know what God is doing but friends who do! Read the account in John15. Notice towards the end that this privilege comes with a price. The devil and his world system will hate us! In John 16:33, Jesus said that He overcame world and then in John 17 said that we, like Him, are not of this world system and prayed that all of the fulness of the Godhead would dwell inside us! Do you see it? This is what really gets up the devil’s nose and he doesn't want you to know it, let alone live it.
What do we do today? Shut the gate! Don’t give him a thing to work on. This does not mean being religious; praying more; reading the bible more (the devil can read it too); doing charitable deeds; quit drinking or smoking or gambling or whatever. They are good and noble, but if you come down to those levels, you are getting into the realms of trying to earn your salvation and you lose out before you start. Look at what Paul said about such things-
Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?
The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave-wife and one from his freeborn wife.
The son of the slave-wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.
These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them.
And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law.
But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother.
As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!”
And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac.
But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.
But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”
So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.
He spoke about being justified by faith and not by the law (the keeping of religious observances, traditions and piety) because in attempting to have these outward displays, we frustrate the grace of God. The blessing of Abraham has come on us through Jesus, not by religion and we receive the promise by faith through Jesus Christ. See Galatians 3:11-14. Outward shows of purity etc, are just that...shows. It is easy to preach against smoking or committing adultery for example, but having resentment or pride in the heart is just the same.
Self control is not abstinence from alcohol or drugs alone, but in biting the tongue; being jealous; coveting something (even if you already have it) and Eve did that latter one.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. Proverbs 25:28
That was Adam’s and Eve’s problem. A simple, “No” would have prevented anything happening. Adam ruled over everything on planet earth but did not rule his own spirit. The walls had crumbled down and the enemy gained entry. This is why I said that the way to win is to shut the gate. You and you alone can do that. It is not getting “more spiritual” in any way. That’s where the devil will beat you. You are already what you will become and, just as he did to Eve, the devil will offer you a substitute. We are already made in God’s image and likeness. We who are born again from above are already in Christ.
When Jesus died, went into the grave and rose again, He did everything that could possibly be done and cried in triumph teleō (it is finished). He had done it all for you and for me and all we have to do is enter into it.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. Colossians 2:6-8
That last part is where the serpent got Eve, but you and I do not have to succumb.
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. Colossians 2:9-15
Religious teachings put guilt trips on us. They enslave us. They do to us what the serpent did to Eve. Our spirit man tells us what is right or wrong. We have the word of God to tell us what to do or what to avoid. The Holy Spirit that came to reside when we were born again leads us, not any man-made doctrine (despite its relative merit).
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory...
THE way you and I close the gate is to see ourselves as God sees us. The way we close the gate is to say what God says and also do it. It is not engaging in spiritual warfare, because the battle has already been won. 1 John 4:4 states that the greater one lives inside us and that-
Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
I am writing this to say what John also said.
I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.
I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one.
I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:12-17