“Ever try apples…?”
Of all the things you would think should get a lot of column inches in the Bible, Lucifer’s rebellion and his subsequent defeat is almost glossed over, relatively speaking, given the length of a story in the Bible about a talking donkey. After all, history is written by the victors, so you’d expect some holy shit talking at Lucifer’s expense.
It is not stated in the Bible when Lucifer and his rebel angel army were cast out of Heaven. I mean the Bible’s PR people really missed a trick here. They could have shown God go full Hollywood hero “…and don’t let the Hell hit you on the way down, asshole”. We can only surmise that Lucifer fell sometime between the creation of the Earth and the creation of Adam & Eve. Basically The Bible yadayada’s the creation of The AntiChrist. That’s like historians saying “…and after Barack Obama, there was another President, and then of course came World War 3”. But in fairness to the authors, getting first hand reportage from Heaven is very rare.
So Lucifer fell. And where did he fall? Nope. It’s not Hell. God dispatched him to Earth, the very same place where he was going to build his garden of Eden and populate it with 2 gormless adult babies. What could possibly go wrong?
A TALKING SNAKE!
The Devil did not take well to losing the war in Heaven, and so he resolved to fight a sort of guerrilla annoyance campaign on Earth, where he was presumably just arsing about waiting for an opportunity. Then God puts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (which was apparently located in modern Iraq, so it’s definitely a real place), and the Devil sees an opening for mischief at God’s expense.
Adam and Eve were a couple of nudist caretakers left in charge of God’s fancy garden. Adam was made from clay, and Eve was made from Adam’s rib. Clay. And a rib. (Incidentally, the bassist in U2 is ADAM CLAYton. Coincidence? #Illumniati) We know very little about what they got up to during their time in the garden, except of course they were instantly husband and wife, and they were probably riding the hole off each other from the get go.
God told Adam and Eve that they could eat any of the fruit from the trees, except this one tree, presumably the only apple tree in town. If they ate from the forbidden, mysterious, magical tree, the caretaker gig was finished and they would have to leave the garden.
And everything would have been fine, except for Eve and her damn questioning, inquisitive mind. Or as the Bible teaches us: women are bitches and will believe anything a talking snake says. (That’s just my reading of it. Women don’t tend to get a decent shake of the Bible stick). In fact the Bible goes one further and tells us that Adam is somewhere else while Eve is being led astray. How convenient. What was he doing? He was there alright. Eve simply had more balls…
ADAM – Maybe today we go walk over to that part of the garden?
EVE – Yes. That would be nice.
ADAM – Are you ok? You seem distracted.
EVE – I’m fine. It’s nothing. I mean it’s gorgeous here. So pretty. And we’re fine walking around here doing everything naked. Even when you bend over to make a fire. I’m fine with that somehow. But I keep thinking about…
ADAM – You’re thinking about the tree, aren’t you.
EVE – Right?!! I mean what’s the deal with that? Oh all these trees are fine, except for this magical one? Even the fruit looks amazing.
ADAM – I know. It’s been bugging me too. Why put it there? It’s not like we have a lot to do here. Sure it’s nice, but where’s the action? But seriously though, we have to leave it alone. I’ve no idea what is outside this garden. Sure it could be more garden, but what if it’s a dragon or something?
EVE – You’re right. I just have to keep myself busy and not think about the forbidden mysterious magical tree that will imbue us with the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s walk over here now.
SNAKE – Ahem…
EVE – Whoa. What are you?
ADAM – Ugh gross. Don’t talk to it, Eve.
EVE – What else are we going to do Adam? We’ve already walked all over this garden. I’m bored. Let’s see what the monster has to say.
ADAM – He won’t like this
EVE – Oh stop being such a pussy. Hey little monster, who are you?
SNAKE – I’m just a snake. You can tell by my many legs.
EVE – Well nice to meet you Mr. Snake. I thought we were the only creatures here. Adam, say hello to Mr. Snake.
ADAM – …..
EVE – ADAM!
ADAM – …Hello Mr. Snake
SNAKE – So what you guys up to today?
EVE – The usual. Walk around the garden, naked and unashamed. That’s pretty much it.
SNAKE – Boring. You know what you should do? Go over and eat one of the gorgeous apple fruits from the magical tree.
EVE – We were just talking about that! We’re not allowed. God would be really pissed off. He’s warned us. Just seems like a dick move putting it so close to our hut though.
SNAKE – Did he tell you what would happen if you ate from the tree?
EVE – Just bad stuff. Something about good and evil. But we will die.
SNAKE – Psh. You won’t die. Look the reason he doesn’t want you to eat from it, is that it is a tree of knowledge. You will know what God knows if you just take one little bite.
EVE – Wait, it’s not that the garden will go up in flames or explode or anything. Basically we will become more intelligent?
SNAKE – That’s it. You’ll know what he knows about the world. Look, you didn’t even know what I was? You don’t know your arse from a hole in the ground.
EVE – Arse?
SNAKE – See!
EVE – Knowledge you say. So we’d be the same as God?
SNAKE – The exact same. Look you can trust me, I’m a snake.
EVE – Screw it. I’m in. I’m bored out of my mind here, and Adam isn’t the best with the conversation.
(Eve takes a bite of the apple)
EVE – Wow. I know good and evil, right from wrong, and good naked from bad naked. ADAM! Get over here. Christ, if you’re going to crouch like that at least cover yourself with some damn leaves.
ADAM – Oh for shit sake Eve. You ate the apple? That’s the one thing. The one thing the Boss said to leave alone. Typical.
EVE – He said it would be fine.
ADAM – The talking monster?!
EVE – He’s a snake, Adam.
SNAKE – I’m just a snake, dude. Ask her if she feels more intelligent?
ADAM – Well, do you?
EVE – My eyes have been opened. This is amazing.
ADAM – So, snake, have you eaten from the tree?
SNAKE – Of course. How do you think I knew about it?
ADAM – Oh screw this. Give me a bite. I’m not going to be the only one here that doesn’t have superpowers…
GOD – Whoa whoa whoa!!! What the Hell is going on here?!
SNAKE – Haha. Screw you dude. (The snake leans against the tree, and lights a cigarette).
(Personally I would have been much more in favour of Satan choosing a spider to do his bidding. I’ve got no quarrel with snakes, but spiders can go fuck themselves. It’s the obvious choice if Satan wanted to really freak out Adam and Eve. A talking spider?! Forget about it. Also, if the story is to be believed, all spiders would lose their legs and snakes would still have theirs. I mean, sure now snakes are like long skinny spiders, but spiders would be so much easier to kill if they didn’t have the ability to scurry. Basically what I’m trying to say, is that spiders are bastards).
God appeared, threw a hissy fit, and exiled Adam and Eve from the garden. Then he really went to town on the snake, taking away its legs and damning it to crawl on its belly for all time and decreed that it would eat only dust (Genesis 2-3). You know, because all snakes eat dust now. A Herpetologist, God was not. He was a vengeful God though, as he cursed Adam and Eve and all their descendants (us I guess) so we would have to work and suffer in order to live our lives. So the very act of being alive, being human, would be fraught with suffering. Plus, as a kicker, he decreed that henceforth women would feel pain in childbirth. Well that’s nice, isn’t it…
Satan here, is mischievous, basically trying to annoy God by ruining his new creations. But he also wants Man to have knowledge (remember the name Lucifer means the light bringer. Ergo he shines a light upon knowledge that would be otherwise kept from you, by you know who). Meanwhile a capricious God invents labour pains. So far I’m only seeing one villain here.
Even though God here shows how angry he can be, his only punishment for Satan, is taking away a snake’s legs. Presumably given that Satan, a once mighty angel, took the form of a snake to trick Adam and Eve, he simply switches forms once again, thereby ensuring that he himself gets zero actual punishment from God. God simply lets him go with a sort of “why I oughta” fist shake. Either he can’t punish Satan, or he couldn’t be arsed. He’s a legless snake in a fucking garden, and God somehow let’s him get away. God is like the stupid bad guys who lock up the A-Team in a barn filled with metal work equipment, and then he gets flummoxed when they somehow build an armoured car out of The Shit They Left Them In The Barn With!
As a result of this whole garden fiasco, Free Will was born. The knowledge of good and evil, which God originally wanted to keep from us, was now hard wired in us. Because of this we would get to choose which path to take. So, if you chose to live an evil life that’s on you, NOT Satan it would appear. It is God’s hands off approach to humanity that ensures evil things happen. Technically, Satan would seem to have no say in the matter.
There is a bit of a caveat with Free Will however. It’s more like “Sure you’ve got free will. But seriously though, if you don’t follow me, you’re fucked. Just do what I say, and everything will be fine. Now listen up, I’ve got a bunch of rules for you to live by, and some of them are a bit weird”.
Here’s a couple to get you started:
“…therefore whoever makes themselves a friend of the world, makes themselves and enemy of God” (James 4:4 ). Sorry Hippies.
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body”. (Corinthians 6:20). So wait, can I do what I want or do you own me? I thought we had free will?
THE DEVIL’S ULTIMATE OVERLY ELABORATE FATE
Satan walks away without even a slap on the wrist from the Garden of Eden. Free to do whatever it is that he actually does. The Bible would have us believe that God is playing the long game with Satan. And when I say long game, I mean looooooooong game. You think he hasn’t planned all this shit out? You think he’s slipping? Well, he totally has an awesome foolproof plan to finally take him out…
God has no intention of dealing with Satan in a timely manner. We know this as The Bible has mapped out the end of time, and written the story for us. And it is a doozy. I will now attempt to explain it as simply as I possibly can. (If you want to read the long form, it’s in The Book Of Revelation 20:2)
Satan will never stop trying to piss God off, tricking people into straying from his teachings, even though God gave us free will and he doesn’t really care what we do. Near the end of time a Beast will rise up out of the sea to perform magic tricks (hopefully a Godzilla). A false prophet will deceive people into worshipping him, and both the prophet and The Beast will lead a war on God and his followers. No idea how an Earth based Godzilla and a Trump launch an assault on Heaven, but stay with me here. Anyway, so God will win this battle, and The Beast and the prophet will be thrown into a lake of fire. And then to teach him a lesson, Satan will be locked up for, wait for it, 1000 years! In the cosmic scheme of things, that’s essentially a suspended sentence. Jesus comes down to earth after the battle of Armageddon and rules with his saints, safe in the knowledge that Satan is in prison for a few years. But then, in a move so stupid it hurts, they let Satan out, for some reason, and he does what he does, deceiving the rulers of the world into attacking Jesus with lasers (It’ll probably involve lasers). But fire comes from Heaven (FROM HEAVEN!) and burns the rebels. Then, and only then, does Satan get thrown into the lake of fire, to be tormented for all time. Once Satan is safely trapped, Jesus brings the rebellious angels from that whole war in Heaven debacle (remember them?) into court to be judged. Millions of years after the events themselves.
So we have all that to look forward to. Thanks, Jesus.
After the story of the Garden of Eden, the Bible now had a fall guy to blame for everything bad in the world. God no longer had to encapsulate both good and evil. We are capable of evil, because we know of evil, because that snake made Eve eat fruit God left lying around, that just so happened to contain the knowledge needed to perpetrate evil. I call entrapment. Also Adam and Eve could’ve just been dumb yokels. The type of people that’d make your heart sink if you saw them as a jury member for your case: “I knews it the first time I saw his big city hairdo. He’s Gilty. G-I-L-T-Y, Gilty”.
What is also missing from the Bible is an actual description of The Devil. We know Lucifer was a dreamboat, but after that there’s nothing; well, bar the snake with all the legs.
Next week, in the final instalment of our Devil triptych, we look at Lucifer’s makeover, where our ideas of Hell comes from, how you might actually already be a Satanist, and why the Emperor Constantine is involved with all this.