Rebellion begins when we listen to a lie and believe it is truth and then repeat it as truth. We do this because we do not test the lie against truth, or better, allow truth to expose the lie.
When Eve spoke with the Serpent she heard what he asked “did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” [Genesis 3:1 ESV]. Instead of answering his lie with the truth she answered by adding to the truth her own lie. She told the Serpent God did not want them to touch the fruit of the forbidden tree. God told tem to not eat. He did not prohibit touch. I believe Adam was standing there listening to the exchange. I have no evidence for this other than she ate then gave to him. In either case he witnessed her eating the forbidden and then himself ate.
These two are intelligent, morally straight servants of God with dominion over the earth. What could possibly influence them to believe a lie and not the truth? Inexperience? Forgetfulness? Perhaps they had never heard a lie before. Why would any created by God, who cannot lie, not tell the truth? Why would they lie to themselves? Why would the set a boundary so they wouldn’t even be tempted? Maybe they didn’t understand the boundary God set for them. In any case, Eve added to the truth her own brand of lie and Adam did not stop or reason with her.
Notice the progression of events as the Serpent piles one lie onto another. Notice the thinking of the heart of Eve.
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. [Genesis 3:1-6 ESV]
The serpent lied when he told them they would not die. In fact, he called God a liar. He attributed to God a personality and characteristic which was not true. He said God did not want them to be like Him, even though God made them in His image. God did tell them to not eat from the tree because He did not want them to know good and evil. The serpent suggested to them that knowing good and evil was desirable and powerful and a way for them to emulate the One who created them. They were His children and children do want to be like their parents.
God allowed the Serpent, Satan in a skin, to tempt Adam and Eve. He knew they had already added their lie to His truth and He did not stop them or the Serpent.
Satan had already fallen and been ejected from the Presence. He had already shown his disdain and hatred for God. God uses him, the fallen one, to test those He loves, beginning with Adam and Eve and extending to all people. He tests people’s love for Him. We cannot force anyone to love us but know when they do and when they do not. God will not force us to love Him but will strengthen our love for Him once we recognize its truth.
Now, notice the progression of thought in 1 John 2:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world —
the desires of the flesh
and the desires of the eyes
and pride in possessions
— is not from the Father but is from the world.
And the world is passing away along with its desires,
but whoever does the will of God abides forever. [1John 2:15-17 ESV]
God showed His love for us through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, whose blood covered our sin. When we see the extent of His love for us, recognize it and realize the consequences of it, we begin an intimate relationship with Him. Our relationship with Him grows as we fight and struggle to control sin. We have His strength in us under His control used by us for Him, to show our love for Him.
If we love anything in this world we do not love God. He tests us asking bluntly if we love Him more than we love the world. We must answer honestly and realize and recognize how strong is the tug and pull of the world, our own flesh and the lies of Satan. We cannot control the world and Satan. We do have, with God’s strength, the tools needed to fight and overcome our flesh.
We must not add to God’s truth our lies or the lies of the world. The only way to purge the lie is to have an intimate relationship with Truth.