Genesis Chapter 3 Bible Study
In a significant way, Genesis chapter 3 is the most important chapter in the Bible. The remaining 99.9 percent or so of the Bible is what it is due to the foundational events in Genesis chapter 3 related to the Fall of man and sin entering into the world. The precedents and foundational principles seen in the early stages of Genesis are also a very key basis for understanding all of Scripture properly; and for giving proper definitions to terms and concepts as they come up in Scripture afterwards. So in light of these things, here is a verse by verse study of Genesis chapter 3.
Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
This was not a beast of the field; or at least not merely a beast of the field. The verse does not say that the serpent was more subtle than any other beast of the field. It says that he was more subtle than any beast of the field. This was no ordinary serpent; and it is possible, though we can’t say for sure, that this was a spiritual vision since it is possible that humans before the fall could see into the spirit realm. There is even an instance of this happening after the Fall of man pertaining to the Prophet Elisha and his servant, recorded in 2 Kings 6:15-17.
But whether this was an encounter by means of a spiritual vision or an encounter with an actual serpent, this was surely Satan speaking in the form of a serpent. And at this point the serpent was standing on two legs, most likely coming across as very beautiful and certainly very friendly, with the appearance of being greatly concerned for Eve’s well-being. And that is just how those who minister false gospels, false jesuses, and all hypocritical false Christian ministers have always acted and always will act. Some of the biggest snakes on earth come across as being very nice people who seem greatly concerned about the well-being of others; and this is particularly true of fake Christian gospel ministers.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Why might they very well bear with him? We see why later in the same chapter.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
We see here that Satan added to the Word of God by his insinuation that God had forbidden Adam and Eve from eating from every tree of the garden. Consider what had already been established in Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This misquoting of God’s Word was a key aspect of Satan’s malicious subtlety, blurring the lines between righteousness and wickedness.
Genesis 3:2-3: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
Some say Eve shouldn’t have talked with the serpent at all, but that would be much easier said than done. I don’t think that would have been realistic. Jesus did indeed talk to the devil in the wilderness when the devil tempted Him. Yet He quoted “It is written” regarding what God’s Word said in regards to why acting on the devil’s advice would indeed be sin. Eve could have done that; but she didn’t. The devil had thrown her off balance some already by his tricky question in verse 1; and she, like females generally are, was too easily open to suggestions contrary to God’s Word. This is related to why the Bible says women should not be authorities in the church nor teachers of men in spiritually related matters. And this is also why, as we’ll see more shortly, why Adam likely had already failed in leaving Eve alone for this spiritual attack; or for at least not adequately preparing her for a moment like this.
We read in 1 Timothy 2:11-15: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
The list of false doctrines popularized in Christendom through women violating these verses is long, as well as the list of cults with women leaders teaching false doctrine and/or cults which are built on false doctrines formulated by women leaders violating the truths in the verses above.
Eve here misquotes God’s Word in all three ways which Scripture is twisted to teach lies to this very day. She took away from God’s Word by omitting the word “freely” which God had spoke regarding the other trees of the garden back in Genesis 2:16, she adds to God’s Word by using the phrase “neither shall ye touch it” which God had never spoke, and she alters God’s Word regarding the consequence of eating of the tree, by saying “lest ye die” instead of echoing “thou shalt surely die”, the words which God had actually spoken.
People twist God’s Word in these ways to this day; and it is especially no wonder that the unconditional security false grace preachers add to Scripture by their silly unbiblical cliches, omit key phrases which prove their doctrine wrong,, or alter phrases where God’s Word absolutely guarantees the eternal fire of hell, the second death, for all who live in sin.
Many also add to God’s Word by making true Biblical holiness seem unrealistic and unnecessarily burdensome. And this is closely related to the hiding or minimizing of the true goodness of God which Scripture repeatedly emphasizes and illustrates.
1 Timothy 4:1-5: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
If we were to do a study about true unity in the Body of Christ, a study about ungodly yoking, and/or a study rebuking OSAS (once saved always saved)/Unconditional security doctrine), all such studies would start and end with the authority of the Word of God as the basis for true Christian fellowship. And closely related to that would be the principle established in Genesis that transgression against God and partaking of what He has forbidden surely leads to spiritual death.
John 17:17-21: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
Romans 6:19-23: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (See also especially Romans 8:13)
1 John 4:1-3: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
The word in Greek which we have translated as confesses in the above passage is “homologeo” in the original Greek. It could literally have been translated “same word” or “same mindset.” Consider how Christ is called the word of God in John 1:1. “Word” in John 1:1 is “Logos” in the original Greek. This is a reference to not merely a word which is spoken, but rather a word which proceeds from as an expression of one’s thoughts, attitude, mindset, etc. Christ is the expression of who God is, being the Word of God Himself who was made flesh. Consider then our study last week where it was pointed out from Mark 8:38 and Titus 1:16 that it is possible to deny Christ by both word and deed. True Christian unity can only be based on agreement with and subjection to the Word of God without subtraction, addition, or alteration. Walking in the light necessarily means receiving the whole truth of God’s Word, which the Apostles surely faithfully represented. Hence 1 John 4:6: “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” We’ve looked in other studies at Scriptures like Matthew 12:49-50, Luke 8:21, and John 8:51 which explain and prove our need to be subject to the Word of God in order to have a part in Christ’s salvation and to be righteously eligible for Christian fellowship.
So though Eve surely knew enough to know that death would be the result of eating from the tree, if you go back to Genesis 2:16-17, where God laid down the law about man being allowed to freely eat from every tree of the garden besides the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and how eating of that tree would lead to death on the day they ate from it, you’ll notice by continuing on in Genesis chapter 2 that Eve was not yet created when God spoke that to Adam. So it is possible that Adam did not faithfully communicate, or at least did not faithfully reiterate enough, God’s instructions to Eve. And that not only played a key role in her fall, it also led to him having to face a horribly trying test himself, something he might have avoided having to face had he faithfully shepherded Eve (see Ephesians 5:25-28 here).
Genesis 3:4-5: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Adam and Eve were innocent when they were created, yet they were not righteous nor faithful. They could only be made so by choosing to believe and obey God. It is through such choices that good and evil are learned according to God’s will. And that is surely learning good and evil in a way which is good for man and which man is able to handle without harm to himself. You can learn about the evil of dishonesty through lying, cheating, stealing, etc. If you’re lucky you’ll get caught, face the righteous consequences, and get the message that it never was, and never is, profitable nor acceptable to do such things. Yet the person who is consistently honest will gain greater insight into the evil nature of lying, theft, etc through becoming well acquainted with the good. Does God want man to know good and evil? Of course. Through choosing right and consistently obeying His Word.
Isaiah 1:16-17: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
Hebrews 5:14: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Those who have diligently, consistently followed what is right discern evil without being personally familiar with its practice and its accompanying corruption.
Romans 16:17-19: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” Those teachers who are not faithful to God’s Word will surely lead those who heed them into transgression which makes the transgressor personally familiar with evil. And that is also the same concept which we have looked at already in other words from 2 Corinthians chapter 11.
Satan’s assertion that Adam and Eve would be as gods by eating of the tree implied that they would each actually be as God (“Elohim’). Idolatry had not been introduced into the world. Satan himself had been banished from heaven for aspiring to be like the most High (see Isaiah 14:12-14). He knew what temptation man was likely to respond to so they would fall likewise. In doing so they would be brought into his service; and he would get a sense of achieving the wicked intention which he had taken upon himself that led to his own fall. He thus enticed man to the very same thing.
Jesus told certain people in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
So man in obeying Satan didn’t become like God, but came under Satan’s dominion in following Satan. Man had already been created in God’s image; and those who are in Christ are being restored to God’s image which has been marred by sin. In terms of things like benevolence and purity, we should want to be like God. If we don’t, then we are surely not Christ’s disciple who is faithfully following Him. Yet Satan was telling Eve that she could be like God in the sense that she could govern herself and not need God to reign over her. That is blasphemous, vain, presumptuous, etc. This is chiefly the sense in which sinful man seeks to be like God. This is a wicked hope which will never be successfully achieved; and this is something which man could not handle if he ever were to (in theory) attain it. The distinction between the Creator and His creation will never be removed.
Isaiah 43:10-11: “ Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.”
It will not be removed in glory for those who are saved. Revelation 22:3-4: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
And no one who exalts themselves against God, like Satan pressured Eve to, will be saved and enter glory. Only those who humble themselves under God’s authority and might hand will (Luke 18:14, 1 Peter 5:6, etc).
Genesis 3:6: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Remember that God had freely given every other tree of the garden to Adam and Eve to eat from. They had everything they needed, and more, in the will of God. Here we see the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as described in 1 John chapter 2.
1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Loving these things implies pursuing them in opposition to loving God and keeping His commandments. These also correspond to Satan’s three temptations of Jesus in the wilderness; and we’ve talked about how Jesus faithfully endured these under much harder circumstances. He was tempted to obtain bread unlawfully even though He was literally starving after 40 days without food, He was tempted with the sight of the glory of the kingdoms of the world which Satan offered Him without having to suffer (and which Jesus would have recognized as a way around having to go to the cross); and He was tempted with the pride of life in a way that could have especially seemed holy, since the prospect of being saved by angels in a jump from the pinnacle of the Temple would (seem to) give so much more credibility to His public ministry which He was on the verge of beginning. Yet to Jesus the “It is written”s in God’s Word, which prohibited the things which Satan told Him to do, was the end of the matter!
People today live in sin and turn away from the true grace He offers through Christ for the same reasons (since of course God’s true grace demands that we turn from sin and come under His authority through Christ). Sinners value their own perceived necessities and material comforts, pleasures related to the sight of the eyes, and things related to their own reputation, self-esteem, personal goals, etc above the true God and committing themselves to walk before Him by faith.
Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Ecclesiastes 11:9: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”
Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
As for Adam, the blessing that was his wife, which he had in God’s will, became a snare to him. Since she had transgressed, he knew he could not be with her anymore unless perhaps he transgressed too. His (most likely) lack of faithful care for her soul, left him in a position where he could not have his wife without losing fellowship with God. Sadly, he chose his wife. And Satan had most likely this entire time intended to get to Adam through his wife! He (likely) knew he could not overpower Adam to transgress by subtle reasoning like he did with Eve. For all we know, he could have even already tried that. But if he had not, it is (quite possibly) because he knew that would not work anyways. This should be a reminder to us that just because we can’t see ourselves ever being destroyed spiritually in ways that others get spiritually destroyed, there are potential ways Satan could greatly tempt us and cause us to fall which we may very well have never seen coming.
1 Corinthians 10:11-13: “ Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
It’s key to note with verse 6 here that Adam and Eve being alive spiritually and being whole spiritually, totally untainted by sin, did not prevent them from making a wicked choice and bringing spiritual death upon themselves. And it will be seen in the coming verses that dying spiritually did not mean that they became totally depraved, since of course they did not lose all of their spiritual senses and capabilities in their fall. Since that is so, they did not become so depraved that they couldn’t make the necessary response to enter back into God’s grace, which He could offer even then to some measure, because of the atonement which He would one day accomplish through Christ (which He would speak of before this chapter ends).
Calvinists falsely reason that man needs to be made spiritually alive apart from any repentance on his part before he irresistibly repents due to the regeneration which (they say) happened because of the unconditional election and irresistible grace of God. Spiritual death is rather in truth a severed relationship. If spiritual death meant what the Calvinists say it means, then sinners could not even be conscious of their guilt nor know their need to get right with God! They also don’t apply their doctrine logically, because if it were true then no one would ever embrace Calvinism except by the unconditional election and irresistible grace of God! And their own actions prove that they don’t believe that. It is evident and obvious by this chapter alone that having spiritual life and wholeness does not remove the possibility of choosing things which lead to spiritual death and corruption; and that being in a state of spiritual death and corruption does not remove the capability of choosing things which lead to spiritual life and entrance into the process (or road) to spiritual wholeness.
Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”
John 1:9: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
It should also be pointed out that the first Adam knew full well what he was doing in partaking of the forbidden fruit and thus identifying with his wife and her sin. The second man, the last Adam, knew full well what He was doing when He went to the cross to bear the judgment for our sins to offer man redemption from his sin and the Fall.
Genesis 3:7: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Did the serpent tell the truth? Were their eyes not opened like he said they would be? No, they had not become Gods; and their eyes were rather opened to the expressions of evil which their fallen souls were now conscious of, particularly in relation to their own nakedness. Did they indeed die? Yes, they sure did. The glory of their Creator, their fellowship with Him, and the blessedness of their pure state were taken from them. We all know that it is common for people to say that something in them died in relation to a tragic event, particularly in relation to something wrong that they did. They had also set their own bodies, and the Creation itself, on a course of death. The consequences of their sin were more than their own immediate physical deaths would have been; and way worse than they could have imagined!
It is possible that Adam and Eve had been clothed with light before they fell. There are several Scriptures which speak of God Himself dwelling in light and being clothed with light. We know that they lost the life of God in their souls when they fell; and we know that “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Obviously Christ came to restore what humanity has lost through its fall in sin. There are good reasons why God wouldn’t clothe a person with light externally right after they have been born again, especially being that they are on a fallen earth and still on the course to physical death. The process of their restoration to God’s image, and the road to fellowship with God in His presence, has just begun for them. Consider also 2 Corinthians 4:6–11 here.
Regardless of the particular details and reasons, it is evident that man cannot righteously handle being naked in his fallen state. We see later in the chapter that God had an animal killed to make better, more thorough clothing for Adam and Eve after they fell. He didn’t tell them, like many believe “Relax. Your shame related to your nudity is just a product of your own oversensitive conscience. If you don’t act so uptight about this, you can just ignore it and it won’t affect you.”
God obviously didn’t see it that way! Not even close. To not thoroughly clothe oneself and all those under one’s authority is to mock sin, as if man has not fallen and evil has not pervaded the world. Sin is everywhere, sinners are everywhere, we are all prone to sin (note my careful word selection), and our bodies are not redeemed from the fall yet. It is no wonder that the need for modest clothing is spoken of in the same chapter as many other things related to the fall and the establishment of God’s order (key themes of Genesis chapter 3) are spoken of.
1 Timothy 2:8-11: “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection…”
Genesis 3:8-13: “8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
As has been said, obviously Adam and Eve dying spiritually didn’t make them totally oblivious to the realities of the spiritual realm. Far from it. Their fall did kill them though in that it made them incompatible with God so that they could not dwell with Him anymore. They knew this very well. God obviously sought them out and questioned them to confront them with what they did. He obviously had good reasons for this. They were rightfully scared though and they said what they said in the heat of their dread of God’s presence, as their guilt before God brought the dread of Him upon them. It’s in this context that we can understand this often misunderstood Scripture from 1 John chapter 4.
1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” It is said shortly afterwards in 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Obviously the violation of the one commandment God had given them, the drastic change for the worse this had wrought in them, and the imminent need to answer to God for this brought a fear, or it could probably be better said, a dread of God upon them. Someone who has learned of the since revealed grace of God in Christ, and has responded to that grace appropriately, should not have such a dread of God, which is John’s very point in 1 John 4:18. Those who have sinned, and have not cleared their conscience by entering into God’s remedy for man’s sin, should have dread. And they will indeed have dread when confronted with the reality of who He is and where they stand before Him.
Many say that Adam passed the blame for his sin upon his wife; and they say that Eve passed the blame for her sin upon the serpent. However, their words were not false. Yet it is also true that their confessions were not complete. Yet God made no comment on the validity or invalidity of their confessions. He was not done with them; and this was not likely their defining moment anyways. Whatever God thought of what they said, He didn’t tell us. And Adam and Eve surely did better than many do today in being confronted with their sin. It is at least better to blame your wife for your sin than to say that you were loving your wife like God commanded by following her in an evil matter! And it is better to blame the devil for your sin than it is to sympathize with him and insist you would have been judgmental and cruel to not listen to him! And things like that are the norm now.
Genesis 3:14-15: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
God doesn’t question the serpent. He is unredeemable. God rather goes right into pronouncing a curse upon him. Whether Satan had actually inhabited a serpent or whether Satan had taken the form of a serpent in the spirit realm, the serpent going on his belly reflects the curse which God placed upon Satan himself. The curse here is primarily upon Satan himself, not the creatures we call serpents or snakes. Satan is cursed above every creature, it is Satan who is the ultimate object of God’s displeasure, and it is Satan who will be constantly vexed and tormented both in this life and (especially) in the next. The concept of Satan ruling hell and torturing people there is a lie from Satan. Satan will be tormented in hell forever himself; and surely no one will be punished and tormented in hell worse than Satan will.
Matthew 25:41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”
Revelation 20:10: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
And in God’s curse upon Satan He introduces the Messiah who will ultimately execute this curse and destroy him. In the enmity between the woman and Satan I see that God will cause His light to shine in the earth so that any who heed it will be drawn towards God’s truth, and thus see the devil’s lies and the system of evil which Satan is the head of, as the corrupt and deadly thing that it is. Again, John 1:9 “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (And with that in mind, also read Proverbs chapter 8).
And then regarding the enmity between the serpent’s seed and the women’s seed. Some teach that Cain was conceived by Satan and that every wicked person is a descendant of Cain. But that is ridiculous! Every last descendant of Cain was destroyed in the flood. Rather, the seed of the woman, (implying His Christ would be born of a virgin without a human father, as Isaiah 7:14 prophecies of the wonder of the incarnation of God through a virgin giving birth), would confront and expose the works of the devil and his antichrist system (see especially John 7:7 and 1 John 5:20). The serpent will be crushed by the seed of the woman, though the serpent would bruise His heel. The bruising of the head implies being utterly crushed, destroyed, dismantled, etc. The bruising of the heel implies temporary pain that will be relieved, though it may be severe briefly. The serpent bruised Jesus’ heel in putting Him to death, probably even literally in nailing His feet when He was crucified. In Jesus’ atoning death He broke the grip of Satan’s power which Satan had attained in orchestrating man’s fall and the entrance of sin into the world (Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:8, etc). The bruising of the heel also implies Christ’s resurrection- this certifies His identity, His victory over Satan on the cross, and that He will surely eventually return and destroy Satan’s anti-christ, along with all authority and power which Satan yet retained through man’s allegiance to him. He will then deal the final blow to the serpent’s head in casting him into the lake of fire forever (all detailed in Revelation chapters 19 and 20).
In the Seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head there is also the concept of Him destroying Satan’s plans and defeating his counsel. This has happened throughout history in various ways, but I especially think of the Tower of Babel and His preservation of a godly remnant in Israel until Christ came through that remnant. And then of course the frustration of Satan’s plans to kill Christ until it was suitable for God to allow that to accomplish His plan of redemption. And even then, Satan thought he was victorious at the moment, though he was in truth being defeated. It is said in Philippians that wicked men glory in their shame; and that tends to be more true the more wicked someone is. So that description of the wicked would apply to Satan above all others.
Genesis 3:16: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
It seems fair to say that the woman’s child-bearing after the Fall is similar to man’s labor after the Fall. It was a bit hard before the Fall, but it increased dramatically afterwards. These are realities man faces which are sharp reminders of the true nature of sin and our need to seek God for a remedy that provides salvation from sin. Thankfully, He has provided one in Christ! We should seek to spin the truth that Jesus is the only Way to salvation by emphasizing how amazing and gracious God is that He has provided a way of salvation.
God established here that the man is to be the head of the woman, though the Fall would make the man and his wife dwelling together peaceably much more difficult. Her fallen tendency would be to crave to rule over him. We’ve seen how 1 Corinthians 11:7 proves that the woman’s head-covering is intended as a statement of the woman’s proper place in being subject to the man. This is why it is reasonable to believe that God’s clothing which He provided for Eve later in this chapter included a head-covering. Those who take issue with God’s order are in rebellion against Him. They should consider that societies significantly influenced by biblical values are where women have been safest and oppressed the least.
Genesis 3:17-19: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
All of creation waits for redemption from the sorrowful condition which man’s sin has brought upon it. Here is a key comment in the New Testament related to these verses. I believe that in many ways Romans chapter 8, where the promises of Christ’s Gospel which are the faithful Christian’s inheritance, are spelled out as clearly as words will allow, is the climax of the entire Bible.
Romans 8:17-23: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Genesis 3:20-21: “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
Eve means life. It is interesting that the mother of death is also the mother of life.
These coats of skins which God made for Adam and Eve obviously involved the death of an animal. This obviously teaches the lesson of Hebrews 9:22, that “without shedding of blood is no remission.” God obviously does care about our clothing in both the spiritual and the natural realm. Only in receiving His provision and in heeding His instructions can we be acceptable to Him (see Matthew 22:1-14, Luke 14:16-35, etc).
Genesis 3:22-24: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
God knows about evil from His omniscience; and this knowledge does not corrupt Him. Man cannot handle the experiential knowledge of evil without great harm to himself. It is fit that man should die physically after he has been tainted by sin. It is a fitting consequence of sin that all who have sinned die. Yet there is a greater death beyond this; and there is hope of life beyond this. The flaming sword guarding the tree of life both signified the horrible death that the Seed of the woman would have to die to fit humans to one day eat of the tree of life; and also signifies the symbolically bloody death to self which any who would have a part with the Messiah would have to die to self in identification with Him in order to actualize His redemption, have apart with Him in crushing the serpent’s head, and one day eat of the tree of life through Him.
For all we know the tree of life was destroyed during the flood in Noah’s time; yet we see it at the end of time, resurrected along with those who appropriately valued, esteemed, and appropriated the Messiah’s mission of bringing men back under God’s authority. In that place God’s image is restored in them and they are restored to Paradise.
Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Romans 6:8-11: “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Revelation 12:11: “ And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
To the WFF Missionaries: Brothers, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to do this study with you. I hope it has blessed you much. I know that sometimes I am hard to follow along with. If I don’t prepare my script for the study well, or if I go off script much, I easily get tongue-tied and the study sometimes goes through bumps. I am working on not letting this happen. It is hard because I am far from being a naturally good speaker. I sometimes listen to the recording of these studies and I get frustrated listening to myself occasionally. I thank you for your patience and I believe you will be blessed for it. Though I am going to put my attention now on moving on to the next chapter of my life, whatever that ends up being, I still hope to keep in touch with you through Jimmy. I still want to help answer any Bible questions you have which you think I might be able to help with. I may have some questions for you also. Your example is tremendous and challenging. I don’t think I am the only one who gets convicted when I am tempted to complain because of what I know about the afflictions and trials that you endure without complaining. You are in my prayers.
I also thank any others who have followed along with this series- and I think there are at least a few others who have followed along through this series of studies. Please feel free to reach out to me if you are searching for fellowship or just need to talk to someone. I have a book put together of studies from this series (not all and not the last few weeks obviously, but many). They have been edited for better clarity; and in many cases to be more concise as well. Let me know if you’d like a copy. No cost to you: I would just need your address. My email is: [email protected]
To God be the glory. May our lives testify that we believe that. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!