Answer: The Law God gave to Adam and Eve to follow is stated in Gen. 2:16,17 (NASB): “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; (17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” In her conversation with the serpent, Eve added: “but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” (Gen. 3:3 NASB)
It was simple law of obedience and all Adam and Eve had to do was obey it. It tested their willingness to do God’s will and their trust and faith in God that He had their best interests in heart.
Satan, in a attempt to usurp God’s dominion over man, lied to Eve about the effect of disobeying God’s commandment. “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!'” (Gen. 3:4 NASB) Satan had seen death before and knew what it was. Jesus speaks concerning Satan in John 8:44 (NASB): “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Satan’s lie led to the disobedience of Eve and Adam and hence, constituted murder of the human family.
Satan added enticement to his lie stating, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5 NASB) His enticement convinced Eve that God was withholding something valuable from her in forbidding them to eat of the tree. She ate of the tree and gave to Adam to eat.
Adam was not deceived but partook of the tree knowing full well the consequences of his action. Paul writes “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” (1 Tim. 2:14 NASB). God held Adam responsible for his disobedience and as a result, condemned the race to the penalty of sin and death. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12 NASB). “For as in Adam all die.” (1 Cor. 15:22 NASB)
For additional information, please see the related booklets and videos listed below:
Why God Permits Evil
The Soul That Sinneth
This Gospel of the Kingdom