The fall of Adam and Eve is fraught with difficulty, because what we have been taught is less than a half-truth.
We have been told that Adam and Eve disobeyed God's clear word to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and their disobedience is why we are subject to sin and death to this day.
At first glance, this appears to be true; and you are probably wondering why I would dare to make an issue of something so plain. However, it is not as plain as we have been led to believe.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “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.’” 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.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
We are taught that the first thing the serpent did was to cast doubt on God's word by asking if that was "really" what God said. Then, with that doubt fully planted in Eve's mind, getting her to add to God's word ("nor touch it"), she disobeyed God and ate of the tree.
I ask you, however, to go back and read it again. The lie is more subtle than most have ever imagined.
We have been told that the lie was, "You shall not surely die!" Indeed, that was a lie--a bald-faced one at that; for God had already stated that, "...from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (2:17) However, that was not The LIE.
The LIE was in the statement, "...you will be like God..."(v.5)
In whose image was man and woman created?
So, who were they like?
Are you shouting yet?!?
They were already like God! The serpent lied and said that they would become like God.
Eve believed the same lie that untold millions of Christians still believe today.
She believed that she was "Less Than."
It was a case of mistaken identity.
Eve's sin was the same as every sin committed today. It is the sin of unbelief.
We simply do not believe that we are who God says we are.
The Bible plainly declares that every disobedient act is an act of unbelief. We tend to categorize and label sin(s)--murder, theft, lying, adultery, gluttony, slothfulness, drunkenness, etc.
We try to help people with these individual types of sin through counseling, 12-step programs, accountability partners, whatever. These things are good in and of themselves, but they do not help the person "lay the ax to the root of the tree" (Lk. 3:9). Because the root is not destroyed, we find ourselves continually coming back to try to overcome something else--if not the same particular sin.
However, it is the sin of unbelief that must be dealt with.
Consider Hebrews 3:7-19. The last verse states that they could not enter because of unbelief, yet we all "know" that they could not enter because they disobeyed God and would not go into the Promised Land. Both are true.
Here's the reality: unbelief = disobedience.
The word "disobedience" appears only three times in the KJV of the NT. It always translates the word that means "to hear amiss, ie, to not hear properly."
Can you see the subtlety of the error that we have fed ourselves on our entire life?
We think "disobedience" is an act, when, in reality, the act is simply the result--of disobedience.
Could this put more light on Jesus' statement in Mark 4:24 where He said to take special care with what we hear?
What have you heard? "I am a sinner saved by grace?"
That is a lie straight from the pit of hell! (2 Cor. 5:17) You are not a sinner. You are a new creature.
What have you heard? "Everyone sins. You will always sin?"
That is a lie straight from the pit of hell! (1 John 2:1) John wrote so that we may not sin.
What have you heard? "No one can be perfect?"
That is a lie straight from the pit of hell! (Matt. 5:48) Jesus said that we are to be as perfect as God.
What have you heard? "No one can be like Jesus?"
That is a lie straight from the pit of hell! (Lk. 6:40) Jesus said that the disciple should be as his master.
Believer! Friend! Stop believing The LIE! Understand who you are and whose you are.
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL with God..." (Phil. 2:6)
Let go of your mistaken identity and belief that you are a member of some other family. You belong to the family of God.
When that revelation dawns on you, is fully birthed in your spirit, no one will have to tell you how to act, what to do or not do(1 John 2:27). You will no longer be slave to anyone's rules and regulations (Gal. 5:1). You will walk with a freedom known only to a few.
You will walk with a power that can set captives free (Rom. 8:16-22).
Editor's NOTE: Thanks, John S.