Not too long ago, the Lord woke me up with a startling question: “Who told you that you were naked?” Well, that certainly got my attention! You’ll see where God was going with that question a little later. But first, let’s look at Genesis 2:16-17:
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they experienced two deaths: spiritual and physical. They were instantly separated from God spiritually, which is what spiritual death is. And they eventually died physically, which was simply a result of the spiritual death that happened the instant they ate the fruit.

Although most people look at things from only a physical, natural standpoint, death isn’t just physical. Things like depression, fear, discouragement, and shame are all types of death with spiritual roots.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the very first thing that happened was they realized they were naked. Then they became ashamed and hid themselves from the Lord.
"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. . . . And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord."
                                                                                                                                                                                             Genesis 3:7-8

Fear and shame are part of dying. If we are living in shame, if we have insecurities in our lives, if we are fearful that’s part of death. The problem is spiritual separation from God, and these things are just the result of that.

Here’s what happened next (Genesis 3:9-11):
"And the Lord called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
That brings me back to what the Lord woke me with, the same question He asked Adam in Genesis 3:11: “Who told you that you were naked?” Think about that for a moment. Who told you that you were naked? This isn’t talking about not wearing clothes. But who told you to be afraid and ashamed? Who told you that you were without? Where did you get this knowledge?

There is no scriptural evidence that Satan told Adam and Eve that they were naked. And since God asked the question “Who told thee that thou wast naked?” (Gen. 3:11), He obviously hadn’t told them either. So, how did they know they were naked? How did they know to hide from God? Adam and Eve had never experienced punishment before. There was nothing in their existence that had any rejection or shame associated with it. So, where did they get this knowledge from?

God’s question to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:11 gives us the answer:

"Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Emphasis added

When Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they intuitively and automatically recognized their nakedness, their sin, and their failure. Immediately, fear and shame came upon them.

The name of this tree is descriptive of the conscience. The American Heritage Dictionary defines conscience as “an awareness of morality in regard to one’s behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally.” I believe that when Adam and Eve ate from this tree, they received their consciences, and so did the rest of mankind.

What is the fruit of having a conscience? The very first fruit can be found in Genesis 3:7:
"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."
Having a conscience made Adam and Eve self-conscious, and they began to focus their attention on themselves. They became self-aware, and shame came upon them. Before, they had no shame, but all of a sudden, their consciences brought shame and fear of punishment.

These are things God never wanted us to have. He never wanted us to be afraid. He didn’t create us for rejection; He created us for fellowship. He didn’t intend for us to have a conscience, but after Adam and Eve sinned, it became necessary. For someone who’s lost, a conscience is necessary because it makes them aware of their sin and shows them their need for forgiveness.

The reason God gave us the Law was actually to activate our consciences. The Law wasn’t given to set us free as some people think. Instead, it was given to condemn us, to bring us back to our need for God.

Since every person after Adam and Eve was born with a conscience, it’s part of every person’s life. Unfortunately, many believers don’t understand how to deal with the conscience, and they allow their consciences to condemn them and keep them in a constant state of unworthiness, sin, and unforgiveness. But the good news is, we don’t have to live like that. We can learn how to deal with our consciences and live free from condemnation.

I have so much more to say about this, but I’ve run out of room. My brand-new book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?, goes into more depth about the conscience and will teach you how to live free of sin-consciousness. It will also help assure your heart of God’s love for you and of your right standing before Him. I’m really excited about it, and I encourage you to get a copy. You can order by going to our website,; by calling our Helpline at +44 (0)1922 473 300.

Who Told You That You Were Naked?

In his Who Told You That You Were Naked? teaching, Andrew uncovers the lies you’ve believed and shares truths for overcoming them once and for all. You will understand your conscience and where it came from as you learn how to choose freedom instead of condemnation.

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