In Genesis 2:16-17, God told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, . . .” But later when the serpent asked Eve to confirm what God had commanded Adam, she added something that the Creator had not said. She added “. . . and you must not touch it” (Genesis 3:3).

Perhaps she had already begun to question God’s command. Every tree in the garden was hers to enjoy except one—yet it seems her attention was focused on that one forbidden tree. Eve was fascinated by the tree, and Satan knew her area of weakness and how best to attack it.

So, Satan hit her with a lie contradicting God’s words; he said, “You will certainly not die, . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). This lie stems from the ultimate lie that God cannot be trusted—that He is not loving and just in His sovereign will but rather deceives. It is the greatest lie, and it ruins lives by saying that God’s way is not the only way to live. Nothing could be further from the Truth, which becomes clear when Satan’s deception is revealed.

Satan promised Eve that she would not die. Instead, she would have knowledge of good and evil. This lie had an element of Truth—by disobeying God, Eve did come to know the difference between good and evil—but in the most horrific way possible as she and Adam took part in sin itself.

Satan had told Eve that this experiential knowledge of sin would make her like God, with a divine understanding of good and evil. That was a complete lie. The moment Eve made her choice, she stopped believing in God as her all-wise Creator and friend.

Instead, she convinced herself that God was preventing her from experiencing the goodness of the tree and the godlike knowledge of good and evil. She doubted that her Creator truly wanted the best for her. In fact, she actually believed Satan’s suggestion that God had lied to her. Have you fallen for Satan’s greatest lie?

Prayer: God, I know that Your every word is true. Help me to always remember that anything that contradicts Your Word is a lie. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’” (Genesis 3:1).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon The Garden vs. the City, Part 1: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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