Would You Believe a Talking Serpent?
Tom: We’re discussing some verses found in the book of Genesis, which is the first book of the Bible, and our primary purpose in this is to better understand not only the problems which mankind finds itself in today, that is, the overwhelming consequences of sin, but more importantly, the solution which the Bible prescribes.
We’ve mentioned in previous programs, quoting from Genesis, that when God created everything, everything was “very good,” that is, perfect in every way. But then sin entered His creation through disobedience. We’re looking at the immediate consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin against God as we pick up with verse 9 in Genesis 3: “And the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the Garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Verse 11: “And He [that is, God] said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst now eat? And the man said, The woman thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
Dave, this is a very different Adam and Eve that we know about previous to sin. Major things happened here. Big changes took place.
Dave: Well, they’re alienated from God, first of all. They have a guilty conscience before God. They’re not comfortable in God’s presence. They’re being dishonest: they’re trying to hide from Him; they can’t be open with Him anymore. They’ve really lost fellowship because they have disobeyed Him. And the whole relationship now has changed. They are rebels, they’re sinners.
Tom: Yeah, and, Dave, it’s affected…I mean, we’re going to get on with more of these verses, but you can see right off, verse 12, it’s affected their relationship—that is, Adam’s relationship with Eve. I mean he’s laying the blame on her. This is “self.” Self has risen. Self-preservation has come to the fore here.
Dave: Not only in blaming her, but He’s also blaming God: “The woman that YOU gave me. God, it’s all your fault. You gave me this woman, and she’s the one that led us into this.”
Tom: Verse13: “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.” Well, she’s laying the blame off here on this entity who seduced her. In other words, “the problem’s not with her.”
Dave: Yeah, Tom, we need to deal with the serpent for a moment. We probably have in the past. I can’t remember.
Tom: It’s good to repeat some of these things.
Dave: Somebody, first of all, could say, “I mean, this is obviously a myth. You’re talking about the Bhagavagita…what about this? A talking serpent!” Well, it’s not so mythological after all, because we have our modern scientists trying to talk with porpoises. We have the North American Indian, Native American Indian religion, for example. They talk to all kinds of animals. This is an idea that is very current today.
Tom: But that doesn’t make it true…
Dave: No, no, I don’t say that it’s true, but you can see the truth of this story—this is history, because the very idea that serpents could talk, the very idea you could commune with nature, hug trees, and so forth, comes right out of here, and it is still here today. And, furthermore, serpent worship—you know, the Bible identifies the serpent as the bad guy. This is one of the forms Satan likes to take. The Bible says that right up front, right at the beginning. You find serpent worship everywhere. So, again, you see the validity of this story, and you see how all the world’s religions not only are contrary to the Bible, but they have inherited this error that arose at the very beginning.
Tom: But, Dave, to clarify this a little more, we know this took place because God’s Word lays it out, and God’s Word—you know, we talked over and over again about the evidences that this Word is true. So what you have is a created being in the form of Satan. You have him…
Dave: Who has no body of his own. He’s a spirit being.
Tom: But he, through this animal, communicates to Eve. That’s what it says.
Dave: And animal communication, the point I’m making, Tom, you will find it in all the pagan religions. Not to say that it actually happens. Well, according to the Bible, they’re not talking to animals at all!
Tom: I guess what I missed was you’re saying this deception, which began in the Garden of Eden, it was a reality…
Dave: Oh, yes.
Tom: It was a deception.
Tom: It has been promoted down through history to all other religions. This is where it began.
Dave: Absolutely. And the Bible says that this opened the door to error and evil, and yet we have pagan religions going to the same source. The witchdoctor, the shaman, tries to find a “power animal,” maybe a coyote or a jaguar, or whatever, you know, and they believe that they’re getting wisdom through this. So, all I’m saying is, Tom, we have this being repeated today. And we can only conclude that the same source is behind it all. In fact, Satan, somehow, likes to identify himself as the serpent.
We were talking about Hinduism earlier. Shiva—you mentioned Shiva—his hair is entwined with serpents. Yoga is depicted as a raft made out of cobras, with which you journey to the other side to Moksha. You find serpent worship—the Hopi Indians, for example, and in India, serpent worship. So, I think we can see that this is a very factual story, because…it’s history, because we have the effects of it still today….
Tom: Right. Right.
Dave: Producing the same results—perpetuating the same results.
Tom: Yeah. Dave, to repeat again—the reason we’re looking at Genesis is to better understand what the problem is today. And again, if there’s a problem, there has to be a solution. Now, we’re going to get to that in some later verses. But the thing I want to look at right now is before man disobeyed, he was in fellowship and a relationship with God. That…God said, “The day you eat of the fruit…” In other words, “The day you disobey Me, you will surely die.”
Tom: And that death had to do with, first of all, with man’s relationship with God. We’re seeing changes here. But they’re still communicating with God. What is this separation from God that death brings about?
Dave: Well, Tom, we need to discuss death—life or death, I guess. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life; that you might have it more abundantly.” He’s saying that to living people, people who are alive. The Bible says that we’re dead in trespasses and in sins. It says that to people who are physically alive. We don’t even know what life is. Basically, our bodies are made of chemicals, metals, and postassium and oxygen and carbon and so forth. How does it get life? No scientist can tell you what life—even physical life—really is.
The Bible says God made man out of the dust of the ground. Analyze your body. “Dust you are, to dust you return.” That’s what we are. But it says, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Now, the life that man had came from God. It brought man into a relationship with God. Man was made in the image of God. Not that God has hands and feet—He’s not a physical being. God is a Spirit, Jesus said in John 4. But man was created in the moral image of God so that he could understand truth. He could love. He could recognize justice and holiness and so forth, and be in fellowship with God.
Now, when he rebelled against God, he died spiritually. I believe that the Spirit of God removed itself from the spirit of man. And there was a chasm between them now. Even the physical life that God gave man came from the spiritual life of God within man. And when man was cut off from God, he began to die physically. He’s already dead spiritually, separated from God. He begins to die physically.
Tom: Dave, what I want you to explain is, he’s separated from God spiritually, but here we have God in the Garden. He’s still communicating. How does it relate to that? See, sometimes you think, Well, they’re cut off from God, they’re separated spiritually, and God’s just never going to talk to them, never going to communicate, never going to appeal to them. Some people would tell you that.
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: But that’s not true.
Dave: Tom, have you ever had a misunderstanding between you and Peggy?
Tom: (That’s my wife.)
Dave: I can remember the first one when Ruth and I were still engaged, one month before our wedding. And I went over to see her, and we talked about it. There was a barrier between us. It didn’t mean that we couldn’t orally communicate. We were communicating, but we were not on the same wavelength. There was something wrong. Something has come between us, and it has to be made right.
Yes, God could come down. He talks to Adam and Eve. He talks to us through His Word. He sends His prophets, and so forth. But there’s a barrier between God and man.
Tom: And this barrier, we know, if it’s separation from God, at death the barrier stays, and…
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: And these people are no longer in the presence of God and there is no communication. Isn’t that true?
Dave: That’s right. They will be with themselves. It’s going to be a lonely time. Self will be supreme, finally, and that’s just what many people want. And this is where self had its awful birth, in the Garden of Eden. So there would be a separation that would be final. But at this point, God is still trying to draw man back to Himself.
Tom: Well, we’re going to pick up with this next week.