The devil endeavors to disgrace and defame Yahweh by misinforming humanity about Him. He also strives to humiliate, destroy, and kill all people while blaming God for his evil. The devil’s titles reveal his large-scale systematic scheme against Yahweh and humanity. He is called the liar in John 8:44, the tempter in Matthew 4:3-4, the deceiver in Revelation 12:9, and the accuser in Zechariah 3:1 and Revelation 12:10. His first encounter with Eve, recorded in Genesis 3, reveals these evil characteristics.
Genesis 3:1 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?"
What is the serpent doing in Eden? The origin and demise of the devil is revealed in Ezekiel 28:11-16. The prince of Tyre is compared to the devil in that he had the same evil qualities. The cherub was placed in Eden to cover over it but was lifted up with pride and rebelled against God and man. This is the beginning of the devil and evil.
He is called the serpent in Genesis 3; leviathan in Job 41; a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5; and the dragon in the book of Revelation. Each creature is extremely powerful, furious, devious, and deadly, graphically illustrating the nature of the devil but not to be confused with how he appears to people. If he presented himself as such, no one would be taken in by him; rather, we would run for our lives. 2 Corinthians 11:3 says he disguises himself as an “angel of light” appearing as very attractive and enormously desirable and thereby hooking humanity into his deadly trap. Eve did not converse with an ugly threatening snake but rather with a beautiful spiritual being who was in Eden to protect her.
His first words to Eve were a lie designed to defame Yahweh and entice Eve to engage with him. Jesus said of the devil, “He does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). The primary way the devil operates is with lies.
Many people are troubled with dark thoughts about themselves that are never talked about because they are too painful. Thoughts such as: “I am no good; I am a loser, ugly, stupid, unlovable, undesirable, guilty, inferior,” and such like are prevalent causing unspeakable pain. Unpleasant feelings such as sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, isolation, fear, apathy, aloofness, and others invade our minds and influence our behavior. We try to ignore them or change our thinking, but they keep popping up. We are afraid to talk about these things because we believe others will find out what we are “really like” and label or discard us.
Most of what a person believes about himself is formulated in childhood and stays with him throughout life. Children think the world revolves around them, so they often misinterpret what they are experiencing. Therefore, they end up believing lies about themselves. The unholy beliefs and feelings mentioned earlier are often the direct result of what we experienced as children and are based upon lies we believed.
Genesis 3:2-5 - 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."
He lied about the most vital subject of all – eternal life. He called God a liar and presented Him as controlling, manipulative, and withholding good from her. He accused God of everything that he himself did. He made God look bad and himself good. He defamed Yahweh.
The temper enticed Eve to believe and do something that seemed very attractive but was wrong and devastatingly destructive. The deceiver, the liar, enticed Eve to believe a lie about God and a lie about herself. 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." Eve believed the lies and encouraged Adam to do the same; hence, the fall of mankind occurred.
Genesis 3:7 - 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.
Immediately after they sinned, they experienced shame and tried to cover themselves. The deceiver turned accuser attacked them with shame. The same pattern of evil manipulation has been employed ever since. He will stimulate unholy or evil thoughts that tempt us to sin. He can do this many ways. If we bite the bait, he pulls us in, and then we sin. After the sin, he attacks as the accuser burying us in shame, guilt, and condemnation. With these dark thoughts and feelings, we are ashamed to approach God, and we wallow in the darkness. Often then we are tempted to do the same thing again to get rid of the pain the first sin caused; hence begins an unvirtuous cycle. For more information on this subject, listen to the teachings entitled “Angels and Demons” found on our website Lhim.org.