We have been looking at Jesus’ words in John 8:44 which says that there is no truth in satan. We are comparing this to satan’s words through the serpent in Genesis 3:5 and God’s words in Genesis 3:22
Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day that you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; …”
Let’s compare the words in these two verses.
Genesis 3:5 the serpent said that God knows. God knows what? The serpent gives a time frame “in the day that you eat from it”. What will happen on that day? Their eyes will be opened (this is presented as a good thing) and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Here we have the serpent saying that Adam and his wife will become something that they are not now and it will be a good thing. It will make them “like” God. The implication then is also that God experiences both good and evil. But does he? The word for “knows” and “knowing” is the Hebrew “yada” and its primary meaning means to know relationally and experientially. What the serpent is saying is that God experientially “knows” evil as well as good.
Now let’s see what God says that is different from what the serpent has said:
In Genesis 3:22 the English is opposed to the original Hebrew and the most authentic versions. The Hebrew “hayah” (English translated as “has” become) is the third person preterite tense, and signifies was, not is. The same tense is translated in the Samaritan text, the Samaritan version, the Syriac, and the Septuagint. Adam Clarke says that “These lead us to a very different sense…” God is saying “Behold the man was like one of us…” God is not agreeing with satan that the likeness with God came on the day of their eating the fruit but the likeness started on their day of creation. They were like God in the beginning.
The distortion here is in the time frame and the grammar. The serpent said that they will become like God on the day they eat the fruit. That is a lie. God said they already were like him…until they ate the fruit.
Adam Clarke says that there is “an ellipsis of some words which must be supplied in order to make the sense complete.” This apparently is not uncommon with Hebrew where the basic information is given and you complete the sense. Adam Clarke goes on to quote a very learned man who fills in the blanks this way:
“And the Lord God said, The man who was like one of us in purity and wisdom, is now fallen and robbed of his excellence; he has added “ladaath” to the knowledge of the evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever in this miserable state, I will remove him, and guard the place lest he should reenter.”
The deception was that there was something more in store for them to be like God. But God does not experience evil. Instead of finding themselves like God, they became very much unlike him because they added evil to their experience of good.
So it is true what Jesus said that there is no truth at all in satan. Even though he comes as close as he can to the truth, he twists it and distorts it so that it says something completely different. Adam and his wife did not become like God on the day that they ate the fruit. Their sinless existence was shattered and they became very much unlike God in their experience. Their eyes were opened as the serpent said they would be, but the opening of their eyes was to evil and not to a new dimension of Godhood.