False Ideas Start in the Mind before They Get Expressed as Actions

It’s only after Adam and Eve have fallen for a false understanding of who God is that they eat the fruit.

But the fall of mankind didn’t begin when the first pair took their first bite. That is, it didn’t begin with a disobedient deed. Rather, it began with an incorrect idea. Specifically, the serpent—the devil—planted false ideas about God in the minds of the original pair.

 

We are continuing in our series on false ideas about God. You can read the first two parts here and here.

The Bible is full of examples of people engaging in idolatrous behavior. But the idolatry didn’t start there. Their outward idolatrous actions were preceded by inward idolatrous ideas. Consider the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Gen. 3:1–6)

We are all familiar with the story of the Fall. Many of us have grown up in Sunday school hearing about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. But the fall of mankind didn’t begin when the first pair took their first bite.

That is, it didn’t begin with a disobedient deed. Rather, it began with an incorrect idea. Specifically, the serpent—the devil—planted false ideas about God in the minds of the original pair.

First, Satan questions what God has said. “Did God actually say?” asks the serpent. He goes after God’s word. And Satan’s game plan hasn’t changed. Aberrant theologies nearly always start with questioning what God has said.

“Did God really say homosexual behavior is wrong?” “Did God really say people will go to Hell for their sin?” “Did God really say Jesus is the only way?” “Did God really say there are only two genders?” “Did God really say…?”

Second, Satan denies what God has said. “You will not surely die,” Satan deceivingly declares. Satan moves from questioning God’s word to denying it. Satan doesn’t deny God’s existence. No, his scheme is even more insidious. He denies what God has said so that he can replace truth with a lie.

Well, what’s the lie? This leads to the next point.

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