Adam Was Not Deceived
God gave Adam and Eve only one responsibility: don’t eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If they did, on that day (Hebrew yom) they would die (Genesis 2:17).
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
But Adam lived for almost 1,000 years (Genesis 5:5) and Eve probably did too. Was God the deceiver, or the Devil? How can we make sense of this?
First, let’s consider the possibility that the Bible is always right, and there are many “pearls of wisdom” hidden within. Therefore, we won’t just dismiss any verse that seems inconsistent with another, or just isn’t comfortable with our understanding of the sciences or popular philosophies. If there is any doubt, let’s give the Bible the benefit of the doubt, so that we don’t reject whatever it says before we give it a chance.
Genesis is so brilliantly written that both children and scientists still find plenty of wonder and wisdom in it. Science indicates that all humans came from one man (“Y‑Chromosomal Adam”) and one woman (“Mitochondrial Eve”). It could be that Adam and Eve were conscious, kind, and intelligent enough to tend the garden, but they were still much like animals. Animals don’t tend to worry about clothing (Genesis 3:7-11), nor do they have a brain large enough to tell good from evil (causing extra difficulty at birth - Genesis 3:16).
Adam and Eve didn't understand the full meaning of rebellion, but they knew enough to be held responsible. The Serpent wanted to sabotage God’s plan of peace with humanity, but actually the Serpent became part of the plan. The Serpent tricked Eve into thinking she “shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4b), in a day (Hebrew yom: Genesis 3:5).1 But time is no limiting factor to God (Isaiah 46:10), and both Moses (Psalm 90:4) and Peter (2 Peter 3:8) confirm that 1,000 years is like a day.
Many of the early church fathers agree. Justin Martyr said:
For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression ‘The day of the Lord is a thousand years’ is connected with this subject.
Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 81, A.D. 155
So the devil deceived Eve by telling her that yom was a 24 hour day. But literally, and without any deceit on God’s part, Eve died before she lived a day.2 Clearly, the Young Earth Creationists are preaching the same 24 hour day deceit as the devil.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Timothy 2:14 (see also 2 Corinthians 11:3)
Paul saw into the future, and warns us to avoid “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20b-21a). But many ignore this and other warnings entirely, engaging in “vain babblings” that try to squeeze God into a 6,000 year old box. It's not uncommon to see honest and honorable scientists getting mocked by Young Earth Creationists, and those scientists (since long before Galileo and Darwin) wanting nothing to do with Christianity.
Like the devil deceiving Eve, they say that God is deceiving us with starlight that is billions of years old. They ignore the First Law of Thermodynamics but they are sure scientists don't understand the Second Law. Like the Inquisition that threatened Galileo, they think God approves when honest people are driven out of the church (John 16:2), led out back to the spirtual dumpster. So it's no surprise what non-Christians think of Christians:
He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Timothy 6:4-5
Just a few short years ago, the world thought deceit and lying were sinful. Now, many Christians praise leaders that behave like the devil (Romans 16:17‐20). They are not known for preaching love, but division, arrogance, superiority and hatred. I recommend that you avoid anyone that says these sins come from God (or science), but find those that show a Biblical, loving attitude toward God and humanity (Matthew 22:36-40).
It is no coincidence that Mammon (the god of money and one of the Devil’s angels: see Deuteronomy 32:16-17, Psalm 106:34-38, 1 Corinthians 10:20-22) is a part of this, and he encourages the deceit. Make no mistake, there’s lots of money and foolish pride in Young Earth Creation ministries. Sadly, un-Biblical dogmas that exclude more people than they include seem more the rule than the exception in churches today (but there are certainly many good pastors out there still).
Darkness wants us to feel comfortable with denying what we plainly see. It wants us to get comfortable with obvious science denials and predatory character flaws. As Jesus predicted, this is how the world will end:
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
And it is no coincidence that science denial is common among Evangelicals. They have been a strong political force in the most powerful nation in the world, and it makes sense that their abandonment of the Bible is bringing this world to a destruction very similar to that described in Revelation (see Tribulation Summoned).
So why did God put 6,000 years of genealogies in the Bible? Think of Genesis like a child (simple) and like a scientist (profound). The number 6 in the Bible indicates the days of imperfection and the rule of Satan on the earth: 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham (the father of our faith - Genesis 15:6), 2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus (the author and finisher of our faith - Hebrews 12:2), then 2,000 years after His resurrection to His return (Acts 1:11). Genealogically, 6,000 years since creation and the rule of man. Then comes the Great Tribulation. After that comes one more day that completes all creation, when Jesus brings justice to the earth and Satan is removed from the earth (the thousand years of The Millenium in Revelation 20). Therefore, all of history will be summed up in a perfect 7 days. Regardless of the timing, Jesus told us to be always ready (Matthew 25:1-46)
So don’t be deceived. Eve knew it was evil to offer the fruit to Adam, but she did it anyway. Adam seems to have known she was deceived, but loved her more than God. The Knowledge of Good and Evil was then passed down to all humans (Romans 5:12-21). This is what separates us from animals, and we will be judged according to how responsible we are with the Word of God.
There are many faithful Christians quietly making this world a better place. Still, there are many antichrists (2 John 1:7) who have not repented of these deceits but expect to be forgiven when they meet their maker (Matthew 25:31-46). Follow The Word (Jesus: John 1:1, 14) and you will not be ashamed.
1 For more information, see A Matter of Days by Dr. Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist and pastor. Available at Reasons.org.
2 Let’s not get hung up on the relationship between 1,000 years and one 24 hour day. Yes, one day can literally be a thousand years, but the point is that time doesn’t place restrictions on God. This makes the “Day-Age Theory’ (as dismissed by Young Earth Creationists) much less a theory.