IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES
TOPIC: DECODING SATAN’S LIES AND DECEPTIVE ACTIVITIES WITH THE WORD OF GOD
Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
2 Corinthians 11:14-15
This particular verse of the bible contains perhaps the most important bit of information all believers need to remember concerning the nature of Satan and his work. Paul tells us in today’s passage that the Devil “disguises himself as an angel of light” (v. 14). Of course, Satan and his minions are often the direct source of much of the outright perversity and evil that we see on this planet. However, since he is the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the Evil One would much rather approach us in the guise of something good and not something wicked. If he came at us blatantly, Satan would be easy to resist. We are more likely to embrace his lies if he approaches us under the guise of the good.
When we want to know what is truth versus what is false Jesus directs us to the written word of God.
We are told that Satan presents (or transforms) himself as an angel of light in 2 Corinthians 11:14. The transformation here should be understood as putting on a type of disguise or false outer appearance meant to hide the true identity. An angel of light is the deceiver coming as a messenger of truth.
Looking at the larger context of 2 Corinthians 11, we can see this is a warning to Christians about false teachers in their midst. By teaching falsehoods, they are furthering Satan’s agenda, which is to promote an alternative to God’s truth—a lie.
Jesus Himself warned about deception, specifically addressing people who would present themselves as people who are speaking God’s truth but actually teaching falsehoods (Matthew 24:5).
Satan can interact directly with humans on the level of thought but his actions are accomplished primarily by working through physical, flesh and blood people who turn those thoughts into action.
So, Satan may be active behind the scene, but it’s other human beings who teach falsely that we need to be wary of.
How Can You Know What Is of God and What Is Not?
Teachers of falsehoods may even have the ability to perform miraculous signs and wonders. So, we cannot rely on only miracle-working to validate the message and teaching we hear.
The Bible tells you to verify teachers who claim to speak for God by comparing them to the written word of God (Isaiah 8:19-20).
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
- Ephesians 6:11
Schemes of the devil – Here we encounter the commander in chief of the invisible army arrayed against us. He is our sworn, mortal enemy. This is not a video game or a fairy tale but a very real war with a very real, deceptive foe.
Paul had warned about the devil’s schemes to disrupt the unity of the body writing that “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14-note)
Think about this simple definition in the context of spiritual warfare. Satan is orderly and logical in his steps employed against you to achieve his nefarious purposes. This realization should prompt each of us to be even more appreciative of the fact that we cannot stand against our invisible enemy in our own intelligence, our own strength or our own human “methods” or “schemes”. We must put on the full armor that God supplies in Christ.
So what is Satan’s strategy for me? He looks for ways to discourage me, and if possible, cause me some depression. He will use whatever people, means, or circumstances it takes to achieve his goal.
It’s the same for you. Maybe your file says, “Frequently tempted to gossip,” or “quick temper,” or “prone to coveting and jealousy,” or “weak in the area of lust.”
TRICKERY – the practice of crafty underhanded ingenuity to deceive or cheat. It implies ingenious acts intended to dupe or cheat.
WILES – tricks or strategy carried out with the intent to entice, ensnare or deceive. Wiles suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. In short they are attractive!
Friend, in Christ there is nothing that more clearly indicates that we have succumbed to the schemes of the devil than to complain about our lot in life. Again and again, the Word of God shows that the mark of a Christian who has learned how to be a Christian is that he rejoices in everything and gives thanks in all things.”
The danger on the battlefield is that we do not take the enemy seriously and therefore fail to put on all of the armor. By faith, you put on the armor through prayer, which must be done at the beginning of every day. Never underestimate the strategy and strength of the devil.” (Borrow With the Word :
Because of the culture of deception fostered by Satan and his children, we must develop discernment to tell the difference between truth and falsehood. God’s people discern the truth by 1.) examining the fruits and 2.) determining the sources (I Corinthians 12:10). The apostle John encouraged making distinctions between one speaking from the power of God and one speaking of a false spirit (I John 4:1-6). The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians of false apostles inspired by Satan, who has transformed himself into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:13-15). The fulfillment of a prophecy suggests that God ordained it (Jeremiah 28:9). Conversely, the lack of fulfillment of a prophecy indicates that it did not come from the mouth of God, as the narrative of Micaiah shows (I Kings 22:28, Deuteronomy 18:20-22). If a prophet or worker of miracles leads us away from following God’s law, he is a false prophet (Deuteronomy 13: 4-5). Only God’s Holy Spirit enables us to distinguish godly from demonic spirits. We should practice and exercise discernment until it becomes habitual (Hebrews 5:14).
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