In Genesis 3, we are introduced to the “serpent” or “nachash” in Hebrew. We immediately see that he talks, reasons and is more crafty and cunning than the other beasts of the field. The word for “crafty” in Hebrew is “arum” and it can mean “deceptive” and that is not a typical description of an animal. We may be reading this verse all wrong.
We learn in Chapter 2 that all the animals were brought before Adam to be named. We also learn that a suitable helper for him was not found (2.19-20). Then we come to Chapter 3 and the nachash. He talks, reasons and walks and he says to Chava, “Indeed, has God said ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” However, literally in Hebrew it says, “even if God said, ‘Don’t eat’, so what!” This view can be found in the book “The Beast That Crouches At the Door” by Rabbi David Fohrman.
We get in trouble when our “tree of knowledge of good and evil” is left to our own discernment. Our passions enter into it and things can be convenient, and we justify what we do. This leads us to think we are serving God, but our actions are an abomination. In other words, we all have our own “tree of knowledge of good and evil” that we listen to. Isa 55.8 says, “For my thoughts (tree of knowledge) are not your thoughts (tree of knowledge), neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord.” The Lord set up a godly tree that defines everything for us called the Torah. It defines what is pagan or not. For example, there is a thing in the churches today called “Soaking” and “Contemplative” prayer. Soaking prayer is where a person just experiencing” the presence of God and it is a “felt” type of thing, not based on a factual faith. Adherents empty their mind of other thoughts, praying short prayers repeatedly, and at some point you experience a feeling of God’s presence. Contemplative prayer is basically the same thing. This puts the emphasis on “feelings” rather than “fact” and they make the same mistake Chava did, listening to the inner passions that are contrary to the facts of what God said. Prayer is calling on the Lord and communication. Soaking and contemplative prayer devolves into a trance-like, meditative state found in pagan religions. These things are to be avoided.
There are three characters in Genesis Chapters 2 and 3. Adam, meaning “blood of God”; Chava whose name relates to life; and Satan, or the “nachash/serpent.” God knew that the animals were not suitable for Adam as a helper. So, Adam was put to sleep and it says he took a “side” or chamber in literal Hebrew and covered it with flesh. Adam now says that the woman that was created from his side is “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2.23-24). This verse is used by Paul in Eph 5.22-23 to illustrate the relationship between Yeshua and his bride. Everything that happened to Adam and Chava is a picture of the Messiah and the Kahal.
In Gen 3 we have the nachash (serpent). He walks, reasons and talks and says to Chava “even if God told you not to eat, so what!” The key word in Gen 3.1 is the word “said.” There are several ways that God speaks. He speaks through his written word and his “inner word” within us. Nachash is relating to Chava in this area. He is saying that “Sure, God has said to you what to do, but you have that inner voice of God within you, and you can choose what to follow.” We are not animals and are not equipped to follow our instincts for survival. God gave instinct to animals to lead them in the way they should go. Man cannot do this, we are not like the animals. Adam found that out when God brought all the animals before him. Adam and Chava followed their own thoughts, not what God had actually told them. Our goal should be to follow God with the best walk we can have. We need to know what God is saying and have the strength to follow it. We are to follow the commandments of God as they apply (1 Cor 7.17-19).
We are falling short of the manifestations of the first century. We are not interested in the fake ones of today, like “holy laughter, gold dust, fake healings and false prophecies.” The “gifts” of Rom 12 are the charismatic gifts, not the ones in 1 Cor 12.1-11. Those are “manifestations of the Spirit.” We should be very “leery” of anyone who says they are “led by the Spirit” today. We are not saying that this is not a biblical concept, but many are not truly led of the Spirit. These people are back in Eden, following what they think is best, led by their passion, and not basing things in what God has said in the Scriptures. My advice to anyone who is around people “led of the Spirit” not based on the Scriptures is to “run!”
Here is an example. In 1 Cor 15.50-51, the word “mystery” is used by Paul. Commentators have said that “mystery” means that something is unknown in the Old Testament and it is being brought out in the New Testament. Some say the 144,000 Jews anointed to preach during the Birth-pains is “unknown” in the Old Testament. We do not agree with any of this. If it is in the New Testament, it has to be in the Tanach. Everything they taught had to be found in the Old Testament, it was the only Scripture they had. People who are “spirit-led” have to agree with the Scriptures in every way, or what they are saying and doing is not from God. People have to change their old beliefs and understandings. But, the Lord will never contradict himself. He is not going to speak through a “prophet” something that is contrary to the Word. The Holy Spirit inspired the Word, he is not going to inspire someone who says they are “Spirit-led” to say something else. Never move on your own unless the Lord confirms it out of the Scriptures. Otherwise, you will be “eating from the tree of knowledge” that you don’t want to eat from. You will be “out on a limb” on that tree.
There is a trap when you go ask somebody what something means. They may tell you something different than what the Scriptures say, so we need to read and study for yourself. Read the Bible over and over, several times a year. We tend to rationalize about the Scriptures. However, we should obey what it says, as it applies to us. Chava may have rationalized, according to her own ideas. Josh 24.14-15 says that we should choose who we are going to serve, and this goes along with Josh 1.1-8. When Israel came to the Promised Land, they had to cross the Jordan, which means “to descend” in order to enter (Deut 11.31, 12.10, 27.2). We must also make a decision to “cross over.”
John 16.26 says “In that day” and that refers to the “day of the Lord” or the Messianic Kingdom. Now when you read that verse, ask yourself “Have I ever asked the Lord for something and didn’t get it?” The phrase “in that day” is the key. In the Messianic Kingdom, we will be like Adam before the fall. We are not in “that day” yet, when this verse will come to pass. Compare this verse with Isa 30.19. Do you have a desire to follow the commandments (Psa 119.1-2; Psa 42.1). Why would God lead you by the Spirit if you didn’t? In other words, why would God lead someone by the Spirit if they don’t want to follow the what the Spirit has already said in his written word? Most people who say they are “led of the Spirit” don’t follow what God said in “black and white.” So, we don’t think much of what they say about what God “told me” because it is not coming from the Lord, but their own thoughts and ways that the Lord has said are not his. They make the same mistake Chava did. Satan appeals to their “inner voice” which we know is contrary to the thoughts and ways of God. We are not to be led by an “inner voice” especially if it is not found in the Word of God. We are not animals to be led around by our instincts. We have clear direction in his written word to bounce our “inner voice” off of, and if we do that and follow what the Word says, then our hearts will not lead us astray.
In Part 4, we will pick up here and begin to talk about the restrictions in Gan Eden and get into these concepts at a deeper level.