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What the Bible says about Satan's Lies
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 3:1-5

The word “shrewd” more closely captures Satan's character than "cunning." Shrewd means “sharp and clever in a selfish way.” Though “cunning” is not incorrect, “shrewd” has clearer connotation.

To be cunning and shrewd like Satan indicates malevolent brilliance—with the emphasis on malevolent. He is seeking to kill. His cunning is like that of a tiger, silently padding through the jungle with eyes malevolently seeking something to kill and eat.

Consider how clever his tactic was. He subtly made a suggestion rather than an argument to discredit God's authority, casting doubt about God's credibility. Satan asked, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'"

Through the tone and inflection of his voice, Satan implied that there was doubt that God told them the truth. This is shown by the way Eve replied; she corrected him. She knew from the inflection of his voice that he was really asking a question and casting doubt. When she replied, she over-corrected.

Like a good salesman, the serpent got his victim to agree with him, getting the victim to say “Yes, yes, yes,” and then, "I'll buy it!" Eve was already influenced when she gave her reply because she over-corrected.

Satan successfully magnified God's strictness in her mind, reminding her that the way is narrow. She began to agree with him, thinking about God in terms the serpent wanted her to think. She began to agree, saying “Yes, yes, yes” to the salesman's ploys.

Satan immediately minimized the penalty, saying an outright lie, "You shall not die" (3:4). Then to clinch the sale, he offers her a reward: "You shall be like God" (3:5). What a price she paid! Satan offered a reward that must have seemed so big to Adam and Eve that they could not afford to reject it. What he offered was enough to reorient their lives.

They did not catch the complete significance of what he offered, but enough to know it was big. He offered the self to become the dominating focus of life; "You shall be God." He completely reoriented their lives by turning their focus away from obedience to God toward obedience to the self. He gave them the right to choose and to set the standards of right and wrong. They bought it hook, line, and sinker.

From that point on, mankind has viewed God as a rival and competitor rather than a friend—Someone with whom to compete and outwit rather than cooperate, for they were now gods too!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 2)

Genesis 3:1-5

Satan made a seemingly gentle suggestion against God's word and work, first by presenting them in a negative light. God had spoken to Adam and Eve, giving them His word. They had gathered much about the mind and personality of God because of what He said.

In addition, they could see with their own eyes a great deal about God's person, personality, and mind by what He had made. They were in a beautiful garden, which reflected the mind of God. They could see the beauty of His mind, and how His mind provided things beautiful and delightful to enjoy. They knew a great deal about the mind of God simply from what they were able to observe.

By making the challenge the way Satan did, he first made them mildly skeptical about God's love, asking them, Does God really love you?

Second, he made it seem as though obedience to God was, in reality, servility. He made them begin to feel as though God's way was restrictive; that He was holding back good things from them. This thought naturally led them to think much more could be obtained from life if they just followed their body's and mind's natural inclinations.

Third, he played his trump card: Not only would they not die, but they would be in control, free to determine right and wrong. In short, they would be equal to God!

Satan successfully brought them into a spirit of competition against God, resulting in the enmity described in Romans 8:7. He indirectly lied about God Himself, and he directly lied about the penalty, giving them misinformation about the reward.

He did tell them the truth, that their eyes would be opened and that they would not immediately die. Their eyes were opened, and they now looked at things through the twisted perspective, seeing evil in everything. From innocence, they became ashamed of their nakedness. The effect began immediately.

This is important because right thoughts precede right actions; right thoughts determine the release of proper emotions. Our thoughts express themselves even in our most casual relationships, in daily work, and most importantly, in our intimate relationships in our home and family. Most of all, they express themselves in our relationship with God. False beliefs about God and His purpose for man are far more destructive than alcohol and drugs. They confuse, divide, and bring on warfare.

Satan's lies, his counterfeits, and his devices are usually so subtle that only a trained mind can discern them. God teaches us to be able to see. He trains us to be able to spot the ploys, contrivances, and stratagems of our enemy so that we can overcome and defeat him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 2)

Genesis 3:4

Though Satan tells Eve, "You will not surely die," God corrects this lie in Genesis 3:19: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return."

William Gray
Taking It Through the Grave

Job 1:6-7

Was he just telling another lie? He was traveling back and forth on the earth, and he described it as walking. When he came before God, it was some other place than the earth. Where does God reside? The Bible names heaven as the only place of God's abode. So Satan must have left the earth and traveled to be in God's presence because this conversation did not take place on the earth.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)

John 8:44

A quick look at this world reveals that its loyalty is to Satan, who influences and rules it. He lies from the very depths of his character. In contrast, God does not and cannot lie, for truth is a primary attribute of His character (Hebrews 6:17-18; Numbers 23:19).

Martin G. Collins
The Ninth Commandment

John 8:44

Notice that Christ pointedly tells these people that they want to do what their spiritual father does. In addition, he speaks what is natural to him. There is a strong drive in all of us to follow the path of least resistance, that is, to do what comes naturally.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Revelation 2-3 and Works

John 8:44

Just as surely as a person on drugs eventually wants to take the drug because he is enslaved by it, sin has an addictive quality. Satan knows very well that if he can get us to sin once, there is a strong possibility he can get us to sin again and again and again until we are eventually enslaved by it and cannot help ourselves.

Satan's lies produce death through sin, and they are deliberate attempts to wipe us out. Satan is a cold-blooded life destroyer. We can look at "life" in two ways: in terms of physical life ending in death and quality of life. What is so sad is that he seems to have such an easy time in getting people to swallow the lie that it will somehow be better to disobey God than to obey Him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 2)

1 John 5:19

“The whole world,” according to Paul in Ephesians 2, is motivated by, driven by, captive of, that spirit being, the adversary who hates Jesus Christ with a passion that we cannot even begin to imagine. Because he hates Him and because we are part of His body, he hates us. But he tries to sell himself to us—himself and his way—as though it were really attractive, glamorous, beneficial, good, fulfilling, and rewarding.

In Genesis 3, from the very beginning, we find evidence of opposition to God. By following Satan's misdirection, Adam and Eve found themselves in opposition to God, and they attempted to hide from Him. However, a critical choice had been made. According to Romans 5, the same choice has been made by every one of us to join in opposition to God rather than submit to Him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian and the World (Part 2)


 




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