But... Did Satan really tell the truth?


In the garden the serpent was talking to Eve about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She said, “God said don’t eat of this this tree or you will surely die.” The serpent said, “no, you won’t die. Your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil…”

The serpent said we wouldn’t die and in truth Jesus came to defeat death… so we can live.

See the problem? I’m left-handed so I get things mixed up sometimes but when I think about this and I know that when we die we are really born into eternal life? I get confused…

What actually was the lie?



Man died spiritually-the “death of the soul” as the Church puts it-the moment he disobeyed God, seeking/establishing autonomy from Him. We’re “born dead” now, which is why we need to be “born again”. Physical death paralleled this spiritual death, so that we now know death viscerally, directly. Without knowledge of God this physical death threatens us with absolute extinction. With knowledge of God we know that all life and goodness and happiness stem only from Him; eternal death (hell) awaits those who reject God and true goodness which is based on His love. So while Jesus reveals that, once created, we’ll never face non-existence, we’re still dead without Him, and can choose and ratify that death nonetheless by persistent rejection of Him.


The serpent lied about dying. We all will die.


Yes, he did lie, but it’s a good question. I encourage you to continue your research as it gets to the foundational principle of Christianity.


He lied about death. Because of their sin, Adam and Eve had to experience physical death and then separation from the Beatific Vision until after Christ’s death and resurrection.


My thinking is that we are not like gods, therefore it was a lie.

I don’t think the claim that we would be like gods was only confined to knowing good and evil.

Even this claim is not quite correct. Mankind spends a lot of time arguing what is right and what is wrong. Many of us spend our whole lives trying to work this out.

My thinking, anyway. :slight_smile:


satan told a half-truth, but it was
also a half-lie and an empty promise,
instead of being “like God” we became
slaves of our human nature, Christ died
for us to take away that bondage so
that we can be LIKE HIM, God in the


Another aspect of the lie is that satan communicated that God mislead Adam and Eve, lest they should become too powerful, and somehow infringe upon His own glory and power and might.

His malice and envy and paranoia towards God is clearly visible there, as is his desire to usurp Divine power for himself. His interpretation of this test might well be how he saw his own.

One of Adam and Eve’s sins here is that they doubted God and mistrusted Him, listening to the voice of the devil instead.

Unfortunately, we often do the same ourselves.


Satan understands the meaning of life, but was unable to do so because he only deceives.


Adam and Eve died.



Thank you for some really good answers. Lots of food for thought…

  1. We do die, but because we know Jesus we know it’s not the end. Adam and Eve didn’t have that part to look forward to, did they? Did they ever know about eternal life?
    If Eve had eaten of the fruit of the Tree of Life, she would have known… Did God ever tell them there was eternal life?

  2. Satan lied about more than dying. He said we would be like gods and we are surely not unless we have given our lives and wills to Jesus and pick up our cross and follow him…

  3. The discussion led me to an awareness that “physical death” might be more frightening than we understand. Taking one’s last breath and letting go for the unknown must/might be terrifying… So we pray "Mother pray for us now, “AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH…”

Thanks again!


Hi, Petra!
There are several lies within this lie; Satan not only lies but twists spiritual and temporal realities to serve his own purpose:

  • Satan appears right after the Commandment is given and is well aware of it…
  • His first lie is to get Eve’s guard down (if she were, at that time, able to identify treachery)–“hey, non of the fruits, eh?”
  • Then he fully dismantles God’s Authority and proceeds to malign Him by revealing that Adam and Eve would be like gods–“honey, He just wants to Lord everything over you; don’t you know that you can be His equal?” “Come on, don’t let this opportunity get away…”
  • Finally, Satan contradicts God fully: “you, will not die!” “Go for the gusto, grab the power, and put Him in His place!”

(The meet at the Garden: Highly Dramatized and Paraphrased! :wink: )

Jesus calls Him a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies–Satan’s attempt to overpower Yahweh God and take His Authority did not fare well so he began a campaign to undo God’s Plan (Apocalypse 12 and Genesis 3:15).

Maran atha!



Don’t forget that while God knew good and evil (to the extent that He could tell you what was evil) He didn’t know evil personally, by doing it! Same thing with the good angels who didn’t rebel along with Satan.

So when the serpent said that Adam and Eve would be like gods if they stole the fruit and ate it, he was lying. Knowing evil by doing it - that’s exactly unlike God.


I think a strong lie can be based on truth.
Sometimes it seems the truth but it is up to the time, then you see that it is a lie.
Sometimes a lie is very bad turns around at the end.
There are a ministers or ex-ministers who succumbed to the lies of sin and finished very pitiable, very badly. You would think that God gave them so cruel consequences, but in fact they have reaped the consequences of lies.
I think there are cases when it is possible to cheat the devil himself.
I believe that among the monks there are saints who manage to circle the devil.
Someone with a defects turns into a bunch of self-centeredness and helpless slave of sin, and others with the same defects manage to defeat the devil, and to exalt the spiritual heights without succumbing to the lies.
Some with heavy crosses achieve the greatest results and glory precisely because overcame himself and overcame the devil.
The problem of the Satan’s lie is that its some how based on some truth.


At this stage in the history of creation, what was said here was more likely to be literal.

Satan’s first revelation to Eve, “you won’t die,” was an obvious lie. They would die of course, as all after them did, because they ate (the fruit).

The second, “Your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil…” was true. It means they would be like God that knows about good and evil, but not omnipotent. Satan was indeed disingenuous with regard to the latter, as a naive Eve could very well thought that she could be like God too.

Thing to consider was that they were in an era of innocence. The idea of spiritual death came much later because of Jesus who would win back God’s original plan for mankind.

However, God could not undo what he had done because that would be against His own divine justice, which a price must be paid.

Yet even with Jesus death, mankind would still die physical death, only after which they would attain eternal life, meaning no death.

If the creation before the fall is to be understood literally, then at that time there was no physical death, and Eden was paradise and God walked with humans physically.

Now because of the fall, we can only look forward to the original ‘eden’ when the new Jerusalem comes to pass and there will be no death and no tears in our eyes (ref Rev.)

Just my opinion.


There was a recent thread on the same subject titled" so satan was only telling the truth ?"(started by me).In the course of the discussion I made the following two posts which I felt to be relevant and for which no satisfactory opposition was found.

*Consider the whole picture.God tells that don’t eat the fruit ,you will die .Satan tells that you wouldn’t die and that God told them otherwise because God knew that on eating the fruit they will know good and evil and become like gods.The fruit was found to be fair to the eyes ,good to eat etc.They believed Satan and ate it. Fortunately or unfortunately what satan told came to be true .They did not die ,got the knowledge and became like gods as found by God .
See,Adam died after about 930 years of the incident. The death warned by God took place only after a delay of such a long long period .The no death assured by satan held good also for such a long long period.So to be fair let us take that both are true or atleast avoid saying that satan lied.

I therefore still feel that Satan need not be unnecessarily accused in the matter.


The truth that our faith seeks to tell us, and the truth that we naturally resist, perhaps, in our fallen state, is that humanity is *already *dead; we’re the “walking dead” so to speak. Without direct, intimate relationship or communion with God man has no life, not one worth living eternally at least. This relationship is what Jesus came to reestablish by reconciling man with God, to give us “life and life abundantly”. Man becomes born again, or born from above, a new creation. This rebirth is initiated here on earth, fully consummated in the next life. Satan lied. We’re here to find that fact out.

And BTW, every day, and even more so lately, the newspapers bear witness to this fact: mankind is dead, only thinking he’s alive. All sin is an exercise in mortal foolishness in one way or another, committed by someone who actually thinks they can get away with it in the pitiful little time they have to try to fulfill their desires in this life. But all sin is a continuation of and an expression of that same death that Adam introduced and “won” for us in his bid for autonomy from God. We’re all born lost now, without the knowledge of God that should be an intrinsic part of our beings, and which would immunize humanity from the atrocities committed by man, large and small, that plague our world and our lives. God gives us the choice, between good and evil, life and death.

In God’s earlier dealings with man, as He’s revealing Himself and His will progressively, working out His plan of salvation, He tells His chosen people in Deuteronomy 30 while renewing His covenant with them:

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."


The lie was that we would not die, but we do, both spiritually and physically. Saying that we didn’t die because Jesus came to defeat death is like saying to a gun shot victim you didn’t really get shot because the doctor is going to take the bullet out. In addition there are other consequences that the Bible talks about including a darkened intellect and weakened will and a tendency to do evil. I would say this is not a small consequence. Imagine what history would be like if man did no evil.


Again… you continue to place your eggs in one basket… God warned that the moment they ate of the forbidden fruit they would die: they did; not only that but all of their descendants inherited their death… either you misunderstand Scriptures (do not just dissect a verse here and there, we must understand Scriptures through all of Scriptures) or you seek to find God at a loss (liar and imperfect).

Death came onto Adam and Eve the second they disobeyed God’s Command because they sinned against God:

For the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23a)

…while Satan did reveal some truth, Adam and Eve did not become as God in the fullness of the term; had they in deed become Omniscient and Omnipotent there would have been a battle of the two gods that would overpower the one God and Adam and Eve would have no reason to leave Eden nor suffer the consequences of their sin–toil, pain, Spiritual and physical death.

Please reconsider your understanding.

May the Holy Spirit Guide you.

Maran atha!



I think G1-22 according to which God says that they have become like gods knowing good and evil, creates the whole problem.You cannot deny what God observed.Excuses such as they did not actually become like gods,the knowledge they got about good and evil was false etc.are only futile attempts.
I have read somewhere that this observation of God was in a sarcastic manner just to mean the opposite.If that is the case,it makes some sense and will avoid the confusion. However for some reasons nobody want picture God as some one whose words will contain sarcasm ,humour etc and hence this view does not appear to find much acceptance. But accepting this view would have been a much better option.

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