Satan the devil is the enemy of the Biblical God and His human creations. Satan is a god of a lesser sort who gained control of the world and the earth by way of spiritual warfare (Gen. 2:1-8). The Biblical God calls him “the god of this world” who has blinded the eyes of those who do not believe the true gospel (2 Cor. 4:3,4).
Before continuing in this posting we need to define our terms. Scripturally, the “earth” is the ball of dirt, rock, water, etc. that hangs suspended in the immeasurable space called “the universe.” The “world” is man’s religious, social, political, economic, educational, military, medical, industrial, medical, etc. organizations by which man makes his life as successful and comfortable as possible without God’s leadership and empowerment.
On the earth God had created He planted a garden in the area He called Eden. There He placed His most prized creations: a man and a woman (Gen. 1:27) whom He named Adam and Eve respectively. After creating the Sabbath, which He called “My holy day” (Isa. 58:13), and designating it as a rest day for His human creations, God viewed everything He had made and declared it “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
To the man Adam God gave the responsibility of “dressing” and “keeping” the garden (Gen. 2:15). The command to “dress” the garden simply meant to cultivate the vegetation God had planted in it. This did not prove to be a problem for Adam. However, God also told him to “keep” the garden. In Hebrew the word “keep” is shamar, which means to surround, guard, protect, to hedge about.
The question is, why did the garden need to be protected and guarded? Who or what did Adam need to keep out of the Garden of Eden? This is the first Biblical reference to Satan, called the “serpent” in Genesis 3:1 and Revelation 12:9. God had given Adam the job of protecting the garden from Satan the devil–the enemy of God and mankind. Adam was to prevent Satan from entering the garden and corrupting everything and everyone in it. Adam failed to fulfill his commission. And this would not be his last failure.
Incidentally, the word “shamar” is the same word God used in reference to His Sabbath commandment (Exo. 20:8). Here, written in stone, we find God’s command to remember THE (only) weekly Sabbath Day and to shamar IT–not any other day. Shamar is a military term meaning to surround in a guarding, protective stance so as to allow no harm to come to the object of attention, in this case HIS SABBATH–His “holy day.” Elephants instinctively surround and protect their young from attack. If man protected God’s Sabbath as elephants protect their young, the church would not be in the devil’s religious sewer in which she now resides. When it comes to protecting what is important, instinct-led elephants are smarter than supposedly Bible-led people. Whereas elephants will risk their lives to protect what is important to them, church people throw away their lives by attacking what is important to God. Never underestimate Satan’s power over the church. And it all began in paradise.
Adam failed in several ways. He failed to protect the garden, thereby allowing the Serpent to enter it. He failed to keep Eve away from the Serpent. He failed to correct her for listening to the Serpent. He failed to resist her temptation to eat the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6). In his first failure, Adam was taken in by the smooth-talking Serpent (Satan) who undoubtedly looked like Adam, spoke like Adam and said all the right things. Recall that when he spoke to Eve she was not suspicious of him, nor did she fear him. They obviously spoke the same language. AND HE TOLD HER WHAT SHE WANTED TO HEAR.
In Matthew 24:4,5 Jesus warned us about deceiving men (“ministers of righteousness”) who would confess that He (Jesus) was the Christ and, having gained the trust of their audiences, would deceive many. Initially Satan did his own talking and deceiving. Satan obviously fooled Adam and Eve. We know that he quoted God when he asked: “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree in the garden?'” (Gen. 3:1). Which was exactly what God had told Adam (Gen. 2:16,17). Adam had undoubtedly told Eve what God had said, for she quoted Him when talking with the Serpent (Gen. 2:2,3). Quoting God is one of Satan’s most powerful tools when trying to impress religious people, just as Jesus warned. Few things convince a church person of one’s standing with God better than quoted Scripture, provided it is the “right” Scripture, which I call God’s “headlines.”
As a result of Satan’s all-out assault on God’s Truth (Word–Jn. 17:17), those trapped in his Catholic/Protestant Church System summarily reject His Truth when someone proclaims it and quotes it straight out of their own Bibles. This is somewhat understandable. When one has lived their entire church life believing that the Satanic lies they have been taught is God’s Bible Truth, being told and shown His truth is a crushing blow. Man’s pride is put to the test. Only a minutely few pass the test, confess their error, repent, embrace God’s light and obey it. Having been told all of their church lives that they are saved and born again, only to have someone use God’s Word to prove that they are neither saved nor born again is a severe blow to the ego. No one likes to be told that they are not only wrong, but that they have been wrong all along. When their false gospel is condemned by the Book they stand on, it is more than most people can tolerate. I have not personally met more than a half-dozen people who had the spiritual spine to study God’s “fine print,” see their errors, confess them, embrace God’s Word and obey it. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13,14, few search for and find His strait gate, enter it and walk His narrow path to true salvation. As He said, the masses choose to enter Catholicism/Protestantism’s wide gate and walk her broad path to a false salvation. Though many are called to follow God’s way, few are chosen for having answered His call (Mat. 20:16). In the next posting we will examine some of the things I would do if I was Satan to keep people from entering God’s strait gate and answering His call. Warning: they will look very familiar. L.J.