Four Spiritual FLAWS

Bible Book: Genesis  3 : 1-6
Subject: Sin; Garden of Eden; Satan; The Devil; Temptation; Salvation; Call of God

Four Spiritual FLAWS

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

I expect that most of you have heard of the Four Spiritual Laws – a great way of sharing your faith with those who have never trusted Christ. Many people have been led to saving faith in Jesus through use of the Four Spiritual Laws tract. But, what I want to do right now is show you the Four Spiritual FLAWS which Satan used to cause the fall of mankind from the estate into which God first placed them in the Garden of Eden.

Look with me at Genesis 3:1-6: "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 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.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."

The historical day described in our text can be called the darkest day in history. One might think that the darkest day in history was the day the rain began to fall, and the human family was destroyed by the wrath of God, save for Noah and his family, but the day of the deluge was not the darkest day in history. One might surmise that the darkest day in history was the day when fire fell on twin evil cities in the Old Testament; however, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not the darkest day in history. Some might suggest that the day our precious Lord carried that cross up Calvary’s hill and suffered the ignominious death of a criminal for our sins was the darkest day in history, but even that was not the darkest day in history. How can I say that any one of these, or all three of them intertwined together, was not the darkest day in history? Simply put, without the day I am going to describe in this message mankind would never have experienced any of the other three days I mentioned. The darkest day was when Adam and Eve were deceived and plunged all future generations into sin.

Before we get to The Four Spiritual Flaws I'm going to share today, think with me about the gall of Satan to intrude into God's Garden and to tempt, and thereby to corrupt, God's creation. In this passage we see the unmitigated gall and absolute impudence of the devil as he slitters his way into God’s beautiful garden and corrupts the souls whom God created. Make no mistake about the serpent in this passage, it is none other than Satan himself.

In Revelation 20:2 we read, “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years…” There is no question who the serpent was, as described in Genesis 3.

In 2 Corinthians 11:14 we read, “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” This tells us that Satan can appear in a way that deceives us. That is how he came in the beginning –in Genesis - with deception.

In Ephesians 6:10-13 we find these words: “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Paul writes twice in 1 Timothy about the “snare” of the devil. In other words, Satan is one who lays a trap for the unsuspecting soul. He knows what you want, and he places the bait before your eyes, but when you reach for it you discover that it is not as advertised. Everyone under the sound of my voice has experienced that at one time or another. Satan can give you what you want but you will not want it once you get it.

So, let's look at the four spiritual flaws used by Satan to corrupt and destory.

I. He Plants a Doubt about God’s Morality and Decency

Jesus Christ once said of the devil, "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44). In other words, when Satan lies, he speaks his native tongue. Lying comes naturally to Satan.

Not only is Satan a liar but also he is also a murderer. His motive is murder, but his method is to use a lie. He leads all humans into death through his lies. The only hope we have to overcome our fallen estate is to trust in God's love and grace found in the Truth - Jesus is the way, the TRUTH and the life. (John 14:6)

But even the Christian should understand that Satan is out to kill you. No, he can't take the eternal life that God has given you through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but is still hopes to kill your happiness, your true spiritual walk with the Lord, your power through the Holy Spirit and your ability to share your faith with others. He will tell any lie, make up any accusation, in order to kill you.

Since Satan is out to destroy you, you need to know your enemy. If you pull the veil of darkness away from Satan's lies you will see his four spiritual flaws. They are clever lies, which sound almost like the truth. He masquerades as an angel of light, telling lies about God, trying to get people to believe the false ideas, which leads them into his trap.

If the devil can get you to think negatively about God, he has arranged for a flaw in your world view. The first recorded words of Satan, as he crawls along his corroding path through history is, " shall not surely die…?" His very first words were to deny that God was telling the truth about the death that follows sins. Satan introduces a negative thought into the human mind about God.

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1). Our God is not a negative God, but rather is full of grace, mercy, and love, but Satan wanted Eve to think of God as being severe and actually being a liar. He wanted her to believe that God is cruel.

There are many people in our world who reject faith in God because they believe the lie that God is cruel and unfair. They want to blame the evil that man has done on God, and they reject the Lord because of Satan's deceit.

You see, the devil wanted Eve to view God as a cosmic killjoy, so strait-laced that He had forbidden any enjoyment at all in human life. Satan still wants people to think that way about God, so he propagates the myth that the enjoyable and fun things of life are illegal, immoral, or fattening! He wants us to believe that every time God sees someone having fun He moves in to break it up. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In Genesis we have the account of a loving God creating a beautiful abode for His created children - Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2:16 the Lord tells man to freely eat of any tree in the garden, with one exception. God isn't a vengeful deity hurling thunderbolts at mankind to make him squirm. He is good and loving, even sending His own Son to make atonement for our sins. The devil creates a doubt in Eve’s mind about the goodness of God, about His moral faithfulness.

Look at the second spiritual flaw that Satan declares …

II. He Publishes a Denial of God’s Integrity and Reliability

Satan wants you to doubt God's Word - he wants you to be skeptical about everything God has said. “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.”(Genesis 3:2-4). In other words, Satan called God a liar.

You will note that Eve misquoted God, for the Lord never said that Adam and Eve could not touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; He only told them not to eat of it. But Satan has a way of getting us to add or to take away from God's Word.

When you hear someone seeking to destroy the Bible and disclaim it as God’s Word, you are listening to someone who repeats what Satan said in the Garden of Eden. There has always been a battle regarding the Word of God – it did not begin in the 1700s or 1800s, it began in the Garden of Eden and it will continue until God judges and dispatches the evil one.

So, how does the devil publish his lies about God and God's Word? What tools does he use.

1. Relativism

One alternative that Satan presents is what we might call relativism, which is a philosophy claiming that  truth is always changing. This idea states that morality is determined by majority opinion; if everyone says pornography  is okay, then it becomes acceptable. In other words, Satan convinces each generation that there are no absolute moral or spiritual truths. Everything we believe, according to the evil one, is to be based on what our culture says is correct at any given time.

2. Subjectivism

Another alternative to Scripture is known as subjectivism, which suggests that something may be true for you but not be true for me. This holds to the concept that there does not exist any external or eternal truth. What is true is subject to what I think about it! When Satan told Eve that she would not die if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, he was telling her that what will happen to her is subject only to what she thinks will happen - she learned the hard way that God's truth was not subject to her approval.

3. Empiricism

Another is idea of truth is empiricism, which requires us to measure or test everything for it to be true. If you cannot see God, He must not exist, in other words. This idea did begin in the early 1700s and became fixed in the worldview of science in the 1800s. Is this view everything must be weighed against evidence that man can see and verify. The problem with empiricism is that it keeps changing every few years. Do you believe a science book in 1850 would make sense in 1950? How about a book written in 1950 stating certain things to be scientifically certain now - in 2021? Science books are replaced again and again because their theories are incorrect.

4. Existentialism

Satan also pushes existentialism, which argues that the only truth is that which you can experience. This holds that the Bible can only become the Word of God if you get an experience from it. In other words, all truth is subject to each individual and each individual only knows what is true from experience. In this philosophy the individual and his experiences is all that matters. Is that not what Satan told Eve? Eat of this tree - experience it - and you will be a god.

5. Rationalism

Yet another alternative to the Bible is the philosophy of rationalism, which makes a god of logic. This idea allows man to decide what he will deem true or untrue; substituting "Thus saith the man" for "Thus saith the Lord." In this case, reason replaces experience and faith. Again, that is what Satan did to Eve. You basically said, "Come on, just think this through. You can figure this out without God telling you what to do." Sadly, she believed it.

Let me give you one more philosophy that Satan uses ....

6. Pragmatism

But perhaps the most dangerous alternative to scripture is what we call pragmatism, where we forget all about truth and simply search for what works. The mantra of this philosophy is, “If it feels good, do it.” That is the dictate of pragmatism. Eve saw that the fruit looked good and her taste buds took over. To herself she must have said, "This has got to be good because my senses tell me so!" There is line from a song years ago that stated, "If this is wrong, I don't want to be right." Aha! Forget what is right, as Satan tells us, just do what you know will peak your senses. While I'm enjoying myself, don't tell me the truth.

Now, what do all these philosophical ideas have in common? They all call God’s Word into question. They create skepticism regarding what God said and the fact that what He said is really true.

So, first Satan plants a doubt regarding God’s morality and decency, then he publishes a denial of God’s integrity and reliability, but thirdly ...

III.. He Prompts a Defiance against God’s Authority and Deity

The devil wants you to think that there is absolutely no need for you to fear a coming judgment regarding any of your beliefs or actions. In Genesis 3:4 he tells Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” In other words, he tells us that we don’t have to ever consider giving an account to God for our actions. Satan is positing that one doesn’t need to fear what he says or what he does, for there will never be an accounting for our actions to God or anyone else. Satan is behind the idea that you can get away with sin, for you will never be punished. You don't have to worry about what God said, for you will never have to deal with the results of your actions.

Have you ever done anything wrong in your life and then had to face the consequences? You usually say yourself at a time like that, "What was I thinking?" Exactly! You were thinking what Satan tells everybody when considering a wrongful action. He says, "Go ahead, no one will know. You will not face any judgment for what you do." He is liar and we all know it, for at one time or another we have all listened to him.

Satan seeks to get us to turn The Ten Commandments into man’s ten suggestions. He wants you think that anything in the Bible is just moral advice and not a divine fiat.

Let me remind you that a person can drive through a stop sign on the highway because he doesn’t want to believe that the government has any right to tell him not to, but he also has to deal with the eventual wreck he will cause, the ticket he will get and the jail he will end up spending time in if he continues to practice a violation of the law. Just because you don’t believe something doesn’t mean that you will not have to give an account for your actions. If that is true in man’s law, think how much more important that it is in God’s Law. Ah, but Satan wants you to deny eventual judgment. Deny all you wish, but you can’t make the coming day of judgment go away!

Now, look at the fourth spiritual flaw …

IV. Satan Provokes Suspicious Thoughts about God

Satan seeks to make us distrust and have skepticism about God’s Word. Look at how Satan provoked Eve to think suspiciously about God: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) The devil was saying, “Eve, God is holding out on you. He’s being unfair. He’s trying to cramp your style. Why should God get the monopoly on godhood? Why doesn't He want you to reach your full potential? You can never be all that you can be by going God's way. Wouldn't you rather be in charge of your own life?” Satan created a suspicion in her mind about God's purpose in giving a Law to Adam and to her. He tells her that God is seeking to keep her from personal fulfillment.


The underlying message of all these lies is this: You can be god. That is the foundation of New Age and atheistic thinking. Rejecting the idea of a personal, transcendent, sovereign God, and embracing the age old lie that man can become a god is the message of Satan and those who deny God’s truth.

It is interesting that, according to Isaiah 14, the reason Satan fell was because he wanted to be like God – the very thing he was tempted Adam and Eve to believe about themselves is what he thought about himself. He is still up to his old tricks and uses them on every generation.

Adam and Eve fell for the lies of the Satan and as a result sorrow, pain, grief and death came upon all successive generations.

Thankfully, God had a plan to deliver us from our sin. He called Adam and Eve to Himself, covered them with the skins of animals and promised that one day the SEED of a woman would crush Satan's evil head. The death of the animals that provided those skins was a prefiguring of the death of God's Son on the cross for you and for me. Jesus died on that cross, but on Sunday morning He stepped out of the grave, He put the boot of authority on the chest of Satan and said, "I was dead but I am alive and I hold my hands the keys to death and the grave. If anyone believe in men, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

No wonder we sing, "Hallelujah, what a Savior!"