The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!
 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is 71st Lecture on Genesis.
Let’s review briefly. In Genesis 3:1, the serpent dropped words of temptation to Eve.
It said, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
It was a short question, but I explained in great detail all the snares that were hidden in the words.
Since Eve didn’t realize the scheme of Satan, she became ensnared by it.
As a result, when she replied she arbitrarily changed the word of God.
She said, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”
God said, “You will surely die,” but Eve changed it to “You will die,” and for her it was a decisive mistake.
Now, the serpent finally revealed its true colors.
The serpent flatly refuted the word of God.
That is; Genesis 3:4 says, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!'”
This is exactly how Satan works.
Satan approaches someone with plausible words, and when the person lets his guard down, Satan finally reveals his true colors.
Now, as soon as Eve changed the word of God, Satan denied the word of God and tried to drag Eve deeper into the pitfall.
Moreover, the word “You” used here is not singular, but it is plural.
It included not only Eve but also Adam.
From the beginning, Satan’s target was Adam.
That was why Satan continued to use the plural form of ‘you’ as Satan tempted Eve.
Without his knowledge, Adam was entangled in the scheme of Satan.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Here is one thing you should realize.
That is, even if you fell into temptation of Satan by mistake, once you realize you went wrong and that you made a wrong decision, you should turn back right away.
When you cannot discern a situation by the truth, you may be deceived once or twice by Satan.
However, Satan will surely reveal his true character.
Just as the serpent flatly denied the word of God in tonight’s scripture, the clear outcome of the untruth will be shown.
If you are awake in spirit even a little bit, you can realize the scheme of Satan at this moment.
Then, you should adamantly cut off the work of Satan, and refuse it in a decisive manner.
You should never hesitate or keep dawdling.
To drag such people who keep waffling into a deeper pitfall, Satan uses fair words at the most opportune moment.
That’s exactly what the serpent did to Eve.
The serpent continued to say in Genesis 3:5.
It said, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What does it mean?
It means, “You will not die even if you eat from it. God said it because He knows that in the day you eat from it you will be like God. If you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will know good and evil.”
The serpent craftily turned God’s word around causing it to mean that they can become like God if they eat from it.
It said so as if the tree of the knowledge of good and evil could elevate Adam and Eve to a position equal to that of God.
The serpent incited Eve to relax and eat, saying that they surely would not die.
Eve was deceived by this.
How could Eve, a mere creature, be deceived by words saying that they could become like God the Creator?
Eve didn’t even have any evil or untruth in her heart at the moment.
Let me explain the situation again to help you understand how Eve could be deceived by Satan’s temptation.
At the time, Adam was the ruler over both the Second Heaven where the Garden of Eden is located, and the First Heaven where the earth is located.
He had such enormous authority and power that we cannot even imagine it.
Every creature followed him and obeyed his words.
Since Eve was loved so greatly by Adam who had this kind of authority, she could also enjoy and share Adam’s authority.
Without question, the position of Adam and Eve was higher than that of anyone or anything.
For a long period of time, Adam and Eve were in the highest position of all creatures, and they enjoyed whatever they desired.
However, after many long ages passed, Adam and Eve felt that they were somewhat stagnating.
There was nothing higher for them to achieve, yet they still wanted to satisfy themselves with something new.
Satan focused on this through the serpent.
Satan lured Eve saying that she could ‘become like God’.
In fact, this was a challenge to God’s absolute authority.
It was like treason or rebellion against the rule of a monarch.
The crime of treason and rebellion was punishable by extreme penalty.
Those criminals were not only put to death but also their family and relatives suffered as well.
Challenges to a king were strictly punished. And how much severe is the result of the challenge toward God the Creator?
But Eve couldn’t notice the sin’s severity and simply followed the scheme of Satan.
Some believers in our time fail to notice works of Satan by themselves and fall into temptations of Satan.
For example, they have a longing heart for spiritual things, but it’s directed in the wrong direction.
When their longing heart for spirit goes too far, they may forget their positions, duties and the order and become trapped in arrogance.
Let’s say that you who have a longing heart for spirit and someone comes to you and says something like the following:
“You seem to have strong lights of spirit. Many angels are around you. God said He would use you greatly.”
What is said may actually be true.
The problem is that the hearer may become arrogant because of the words spoken.
Those people overestimate themselves, thinking they are being recognized by God, have become cultivated in spirit to a great extent, and have already attained the level of spirit.
From this moment they begin to change.
They try to teach others and flaunt themselves before others.
Satan knew in advance that they have desires of boasting and arrogance and agitated those desires.
To long for and seek spirit is a fundamental duty of the believers who have heavenly citizenship.
It is not allowed that their longing heart for spirit goes too far and changes into greed and arrogance.
What was the beginning of the destruction of dinosaurs?
It was their jealousy of the cherubim.
Their jealousy gradually grew into envy.
They were not content with their position and desired more, and thus their actions were out-of-bounds.
It resulted in their destruction.
The Spirit cannot be filled with only longing heart and jealousy.
When we empty, deny and humble ourselves and exalt others, our spirits can be filled.
It is filled not by being served but by serving.
I wish for you to properly understand this truth and long for spirit in truth.
Dear brothers and sisters.
There is another lesson that you can learn from tonight’s scripture.
That is, the temptation or test of Satan comes to you when you think all is well.
Adam and Eve had lived a restful and comfortable life for a long period of time.
Their hearts had been loosened quite a bit and then they were deceived by Satan.
The rest they enjoyed was not spiritual rest, but a physical one.
Physical rest may lead to a spiritual life of ease and complacency.
Let me give you an example. You used to be very busy praying, evangelizing, reading the Word, and taking care of souls every day.
You used to pray with fasting to become sanctified, and to wrestle and struggle against sins.
With the passage of time, you may think sanctification is accomplished to some degree.
Your eagerness in prayer has decreased and you think you know the Word.
In performing your God-given duties, you have knowledge and ability.
Then, you seem to live comfortably and peacefully.
This is the time temptations come easily.
While you seek physical rest and have spiritual complacency, Satan prepares temptations.
If you meet with temptations in this state, you easily fall into temptations because you are in spiritual slumber.
And so, 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.”
And then it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
As said, we should be always alert and sober in our everyday lives.
You should know that the perfect peace can be found only in Heaven, and until that day, you should march on without ceasing.
You should not become like the rabbit that lost in the race with the turtle while taking sweet rest in the middle of the race.
Moreover, even though you are spiritually ahead of others, if you don’t keep marching on but become lazy, ‘you who are first will be last.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
You are learning how Eve was deceived by Satan when she didn’t have any evil in her at all.
You may have a question at this point.
‘How could the flesh enter Adam and Eve who were created as living spirits?’
Adam and Eve were living spirits, but they were originally made from earth.
They might be changed in nature if other factors enter them.
For a long period of time, no flesh could enter Adam and Eve because they had been filled with the breath of spirit breathed by God Himself.
In addition, the Garden of Eden was separate from the space of darkness.
Even though she desired to plant fleshly natures into the men, it seems that Satan has never been able to break into the Garden of Eden.
But there has been a single conditional exception to this.
If a being in the Garden of Eden was to receive works of Satan, then fleshly natures could enter it.
Dinosaurs received works of Satan and degraded into a fleshly being although they were made from the earth in the Garden of Eden, not from the earth in this world.
The people in the Garden of Eden including Adam and Eve were given not only good environments, but also free will by God the Father.
With the free will, they themselves could choose whether to receive the flesh or not.
Even though they were living spirits, if they were to receive flesh with their free will, flesh would then be planted into them.
Among them, Eve first opened her heart and received flesh through the temptation of Satan.
After that, Adam, like Eve, did the same thing.
Some of you might think, ‘Adam had free will but no evil in him at all. How could Adam, who had no evil, have been deceived by Satan?’
Brothers and sisters,
There is a clear difference between those who had sinful natures but have thrown away all sin by circumcising their hearts and Adam who had no evil from the beginning.
In both the cases, they have no flesh; when they are given temptations of sin, they react differently.
Let me give you an example to help you understand it.
Suppose there are two obedient brothers. One is 10 years old, and the other 3 years old.
One day their mother put a pot of boiling water on the ground while doing chores, and advised them not to touch it.
She told them it was so hot and they would be hurt if they mistakenly touch it.
The elder brother keeps her word in his mind because he has experienced being burned.
He remembers the painful sensation he experienced when he was burned; so he willfully stays away from the boiling pot.
The elder brother keeps her word and obeys her with his free will.
The younger brother has no experience with burns at all.
His obedience is at the level where he doesn’t go near the boiling pot because his mother told him not to do it.
This is not a kind of true obedience from his free will.
If he meets with the same situation a few times, he might not obey her warning.
When the pot is steaming, it may look interesting to him.
Then, when curiosity is triggered in his mind, he feels inclined to touch it.
He may stretch out his hand to catch the steam and put his hand into the boiling water.
It doesn’t mean he intentionally put his hand into the hot water in disobedience to his mother.
He knew he must not touch it, but could not feel in his heart the reason why.
His curiosity finally overpowered his will telling him not to touch it.
As that result, he put his hand into the boiling pot.
The same applies to Adam and Eve.
They had no evil in their hearts at all, but they had never experienced relativity.
They could freely choose whether they would accept Satan’s proposal or they could refuse it.
If they were in the same state as the elder brother from the example illustrated a little before, they could flatly drive away Satan’s temptation.
But Adam and Eve were in the same state as the younger brother.
When they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they didn’t have any evil intention of disobeying God’s word.
When they were tempted by Satan, they chose the way and received it.
As explained before, Adam and Eve had lived as the highest rulers of the First Heaven and the Garden of Eden for a long period of time.
They felt they were becoming stagnated.
Satan deceived Eve with crafty words through the serpent that was on intimate terms with her.
Like bait, Satan dangled the clinching temptation of ‘becoming like God’ and caught Eve.
When she received such a word with her free will, a sinful nature of greed entered her mind.
And it became flesh in her.
The sinful nature of greed conceived in her mind later came forth as the fruit of disobedience to God’s word.
Regarding this, James 1:15 says, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Tonight’s passage in Verse 6 it shows that Eve bore the fruit of sin.
Eve committed such a sin even though she had no evil at all at the time. How can those who have not cast away evils from the heart drive away Satan’s temptations?
Do you still have a desire to seek wealth, power, and fame?
You may have a desire to be recognized and loved by people in a fleshly sense.
Then, Satan casts such desires like bait to entice those fleshly desires.
When those baits look exceedingly good, you come to completely forget God’s word.
Then, you may bear the fruit of disobedience or commit lawlessness.
It’s because greed is conceived and gives birth to sin.
Greed is defined as the ‘desire to have more of something, such as food or money, than is necessary or fair.’
People commit sins because they desire to have more of something than is necessary.
It was because greed was conceived in her mind that Eve accepted the serpent’s words and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Her heart was aroused by Satan’s tempting word “In the day you eat from it you will be like God.”
In her heart sprouted a desire to become like God the Creator, which was greater than is necessary as a creature.
This deed of Eve began with her curiosity.
Her curiosity finally reached what God had strictly prohibited, and it means it went over the limits.
She had a desire for something greater than was necessary for her position.
In Eve’s case, greed was conceived in her and gave birth to sin. But it didn’t end there.
Her sin grew and reached a greater sin that led her and Adam to death.
I urge you to put this lesson well into your hearts.
If you once commit a sin because of weak faith, you must stop it at that point.
You have to repent immediately and stay far away from the way of sin.
Otherwise, one sin gives birth to another sin.
And if the sin grows, it finally leads you to death.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
He meditates in the law of God day and night, and he walks in the light.
I hope that you can help yourself choose the blessed way in your free will that is given by God.
May the favor of God be always overflowing in your lives, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!