Today: Genesis 3 – Who Gave Satan the Keys and what about Immortality? In this chapter, we meet the serpent who is more subtle than all the beasts of the field. Question? Why doesn’t introduce the serpent as an angel instead of a member of the animal kingdom? The answer gives us compelling insight into the events of the fall.
[Gen 3:1-24 KJV] 1 Now the serpent was more subtil 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? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 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. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 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. 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. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 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. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return. 20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Before the serpent came into the picture, the man was so God-conscious that he didn’t realize and the woman didn’t realize that they were naked. Then they encounter something they had not anticipated and apparently the Father had not warned them of. The Father didn’t say, “watch out for the serpent.” This is because the serpent was not a problem until Adam handed him the keys of the earthly realm that he was given charge and dominion over. The serpent took the dominion of man and turned into a demonic realm described in Col. 1:13 as the domain of darkness.
You must understand that the domain of darkness did not exist and hell did not exist until man listened and yielded to the speaking serpent we know as the devil or Satan. Of all that the scripture tells us about pre-creation (and there are copious references) there is not one unambiguous reference describing Satan, hell or demons as we refer to them today until Adam abdicated his earth lease that God gave him (to subdue and have dominion) and through transgression, giving the universe and the world over to Satan in the act of original sin that brought about the fallen condition.
Satan himself when describing the moment he took authority and became the prince of the power of the air described it in a way that tells us in no way did he derive his power from any choice or action on God’s part. In the gospel of Luke, when Satan was tempting Jesus, we read the following very telling remarks:
[Luk 4:6 KJV] 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
The Greek word translated “delivered” in this verse means to “surrender.” Now I ask you a question – within the parameters of all we call orthodoxy, can we possibly think or believe that God EVER surrendered anything to Satan? However, we know plainly from the Genesis account that Adam did surrender to him. Before the fall the dominion was Adam’s. After the fall, Satan took up the dominion that Adam’s laid down and brought upon all humanity the consequences of sin and death. Why didn’t God stop him? Because God gave man authority (Gen. 1:28) with no intention of ever taking it back until Jesus came as the perfect man, paying the price for sin that He might reclaim the keys of the dominion of the earth and return them to those the Father intended to have them in the first place.
Something else to keep in mind about Satan. He is not first called an angel but a beast of the field. The law of first mention applies here:
The law of first mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine.
This universal law of interpreting scripture is accepted throughout Christianity, going back to the third century. When you apply this law to the subject of the devil, we don’t see him referenced as an angel or as a man but as a member of the animal kingdom. Let’s consider this:
If you were Satan, which would be your preference? Would you like to be thought of as merely a beast of the field with the faculty of speech or as a rebellious angel who successfully drew a third of God’s forces into open revolt against the kingdom of God?
Now the word serpent means “to hiss.” The first thing he did was tempt Eve to question the voice of God and to defer to his lesser voice and his lesser mind. What was the result?
[Gen 3:7 KJV] 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Before the fall all they knew was God or proceeded from God. Now they have a knowing that proceeds from the enemy and from their own sense-knowledge. The first symptom of the fall was coming under the entrapment of sense knowledge. God-consciousness no longer eclipsed self-consciousness in their thinking. Rather than running to the Father for a solution, they sought to solve their problem with fig leaf religion. While they were cooking up their own answers, what was God doing? Genesis 3:8 tells us:
[Gen 3:8 KJV] 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Here is a lesson to learn. Even religious people bound by legalism can hear the voice of God. Adam and Even are cowering in the garden, trying to sew together answers to their problems, yet all the while, wafting over the rivulets of their own spiritual nature, God is calling to them. An alternate rendering of this passage reads that they “heard the sound of the Lord God whirling upon the breezes…” Does that sound familiar to you? Remember the day of Pentecost? The 120 heard the sound of the Lord God whirling upon the breezes and the visitation of God that Adam and Eve rejected was accepted by the 120 and all the world and history pivoted on that moment. What about you? Are you responding to the voice of the Lord God whirling upon the breezes or are you still trying to solve your own problem?
Adam and Eve look up from their sewing party just long enough to indite the faithfulness of God. Note that the Father is not asking “what did you do?” He was only asking, “where are you?” Adam replies, “I heard your voice and was afraid therefore I hid myself…” Do you hear the accusation against God here in the words of Adam? He is actually saying, “what do you mean ‘where are you?’. If you weren’t so scary in the first place, I wouldn’t be back here sowing fig leaves together. This lets us know that the foundation of all religious attitudes, spirits, and efforts is fear and accusation against God. God isn’t interested in what you are doing He is interested in WHERE YOU ARE. Where are you? If you are answering according to Eph. 1:20 – that you are spiritually located in Christ at the right hand of the Father, that is the right answer, and God can work with that to fix what is broken in your life.
What did Eve say (in v. 13)? She pointed the finger at the serpent. This was bad enough but not as diabolical as what Adam did. Adam blamed God Himself (i.e. it’s your fault that I am afraid, it’s your fault because of the woman you gave me…” That is why Paul declared the following:
[1Ti 2:14 KJV] 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Eve did not comprehend the enormity of what she got herself involved in. Adam, on the other hand, sinned with his eyes wide open and realizing he was condemning all of humanity to sin and death by his actions, he was unrepentant.
Now notice that God doesn’t ask the serpent anything (v. 14). He just metes out his consequences. Why didn’t God correct the serpent? Because that was Adam’s responsibility. The serpent was under Adam’s authority as one of the beasts of the field. For God to correct the serpent would be the same as someone correcting your children. It isn’t their job; it is your job, and in Adam’s case, he had no intention of making things right at this point. You need to stop waiting on God to do something about the enemy. What do you think God has further to do that He hasn’t already done? Hebrews 10:12-13 affirms this about Jesus that:
[Heb 10:12-13 KJV] 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
The Father then unveils to Adam and Eve the consequences of their actions. Notice that He isn’t saying “these are the things I impose upon you…” He simply says, “because you did thus and so – this will be the consequence…” God never chose these things for man, but He honored the vagaries of His own design of the human condition in giving man a free will for his own benefit or detriment in the environment God gave him to carry out his affairs in.
Notice in v. 20 that only now after all these things, that Adam proceeds to give Eve a proper name. Up until that moment, she was only known as woman (or Isha – meaning “out of man…”) They were so close together before the fall that they were unaware and unconscious of any separation between them. This is God’s original intent for man. Initially in Genesis 2:19-20 God took the man to every pair of creatures on the face of the earth ostensibly that he might name them; and that he would see that there was no companion for him that had been identified. Notice the verse says there was no companion found – that doesn’t mean there was no companion available.
What does this mean? Remember that the “Adam” that was performing this task was not in a state of singular male gender identity. He was something we cannot conceive of coherently neither do we have a name for what he/they were or was because all that Eve was and all that Adam was at that moment is encapsulated in that being that the Father escorted to every pair of creatures on the face of the earth so they would have the concept and idea of companionship, but apparently it was not obvious to them. What was not clear to them? What God was trying to get them to see is that all of His creation was made with companionship in mind.
Why didn’t God just make Adam and Eve independent of one another and be done with it? Because the Father wanted his Adam/Eve creation in one being to understand that as the animals were created in a state of companionship even so man (Adam/Eve) were created for companionship (with who?), with God Himself. This they did not understand, and therefore, God separated their natures as a contingency action. This was the first deviation involving man from God’s apparent original intent. Think about it. They were already one in one being, more one than any man or woman could be. In taking Eve out of Adam, God did not create a union; instead He created a separation, and men and women have been trying to close that gap ever since. This was when Adam’s eyes were open – not accepting what God had in mind but demanding in his obstinance to be allowed a departure from the Father’s plans and to proceed on his own terms ultimately leading to complete separation between God and man and man and woman. What does God do at this point? He makes them coats of skins. He isn’t talking about sheepskin or any such thing. He is giving man a fleshly identity that the man promptly corrupts by the very act of donning it on his person that very same person that before the fall was clothed in God’s glory so much that they didn’t even realize they were not clothed upon. When will this be ameliorated or changed? Paul answers this question in our final verse for this study:
[1Co 15:51-54 KJV] 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
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