Spiritual Deception and Wisdom for Today’s World

Well at last!  I’m finally getting around to a subject that has been a real sticking point with many of our brothers and sisters since a certain wily serpent conversed with Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Many of these early topics from Wednesday night will be new to many of you, but a few of you have been in our Wednesday group for a couple of years now may find these familiar.

My prayer is that you will be well fed by what the Holy Spirit reveals to you and that you will share with as many of your friends and loved ones as you find receptive.

God Bless You All Mightily!

Let’s start by recognizing the traits and purpose of our enemy, the devil. We also call him Satan. A brilliant theologian and great man of God named Warren Wiersbe wrote a book that is legendary in its clarity and scriptural soundness and he defined these best in his book The Strategies of Satan.

  • Wiersbe said Satan had four main functions on earth and these are supported by Scripture:Satan the Deceiver (Genesis 3)-after God created man and woman and enjoyed communion with them in the Garden of Eden, along came Satan to throw confusion, independence and deception into His perfect creation. The devil, as we know, is the father of lies and this was his first weapon against mankind. What he did was really simple and he does the same thing today: First, he questions God’s instructions-“did God say?”; second, he tells Eve a lie-“God did not say!” and then the final step is his substitution of another lie of his own-“for God knows that when you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be just like God!”  Satan has been doing this to mankind ever since and he is good at it!
  • Satan the Destroyer (The Book of Job)-God created man in His image, perfect, complete and designed to walk in close communion with Him. He made our bodies to be Temples of the Holy Spirit and this is a prime target of our enemy. Think of all the ways we make ourselves independent of God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Job was righteous in God’s eyes but the devil sought permission to attack his body, but not kill him. The attacks got so bad that Job’s own wife told him, “Curse God and Die!”  No one’s loved ones want to see someone they care for suffer but here is the lesson for us:  Be patient for God’s will, His purpose and plan to be worked out in us before we just give up. Satan loves it when we give up on God and become impatient and independent.
  • Satan the Ruler of this World (1 & 2 Samuel; 1 Kings)-This tale of two kings is the story about what happens when God anoints rulers over His people and then those kings become rebellious and separate themselves from God Himself, Who gave them their position and authority.  Just as all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus by our Father, David and Saul were given authority and power on earth. SO HAVE WE!!  We can be independent of anyone and anything on earth but never independent of God. Anointings from God can be gained and lost, as these two kings learned, but we must always remain close to Him in Jesus’ Name!
  • Satan as the Accuser of the Brethren (Zechariah 3)-picture yourself in heaven before the Throne of Grace. There is a man named Joshua and he is the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem.  He is dressed in his priestly clothes, but they are filthy and not presentable to our Father.  This is a real picture of warfare. Satan has accused him of unworthiness and uncleanness but God doesn’t acknowledge it. Instead, he rebukes the accuser from His righteous throne and Satan remains SILENT for the remainder of the trial. Our Father orders His angel to re-clothe Joshua in clean garments and a new turban to be placed on his head. END OF TRIAL! Here’s the best part: We have a higher place in God’s kingdom than the devil and we may BOLDLY go before the Throne of Grace in faith, knowing that the enemy is defeated. Never forget that! After the trial, God has made a promise to Joshua and this promise is for all of us-Walk in His ways, perform His service and we will govern in His house with free access among those who dwell in heaven.

These are foundational truths in recognizing the tricks and character of our archenemy, Satan. When people are troubling to you, pray for them and remember what we learned in Ephesians 6:12-“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness in this world, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.


The Big Gag

Wow!  What a night I had last night at the War Room!  God is so faithful and last night was a real blessing for me and I hope for those who attended the connection group. About half of those who blessed me with their attention last night were newcomers and they dove in feet first on the topic at hand: The Strategies of Satan.

I knew I had to go in fully prepared for what might happen. I have been fighting a head cold and really thought I was pretty well past it by the time class started. About 30 minutes in, I started coughing uncontrollably and was determined that the enemy was trying to throw me off my game. No way. Being prayed up and in the Spirit means you can be attacked but the enemy is already defeated. He wants as many as he can get to join him where he will one day be eternally, and this was the message. 

Back in the War Room, God puts faithful people before me always and last night, one of these faithful brothers, Jack, rescued me in my coughing, runny-nosed message of hope by getting a bottle of water for me so I could finish what God had put in my heart to say.  Spiritual warfare sometimes isn’t pretty, but it is always productive for those who walk close in partnership with the Holy Spirit!

There are many ways that the devil attacks but principally there are four roles he plays in his attempts to destroy us and we covered three last night: First, he is the Deceiver and his tool is the Lie. We see classic examples of this in Genesis 3, where he introduces himself to Adam and Eve and, oh, how subtle he was! He did then just as he does today all over the world and he persuades others to follow suit.

  • he questions God’s Word
  • he denies God’s Word
  • he then substitutes his own lies

Secondly, he is the Destroyer and his tool in this realm is attacks on our body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. For the faithful, Satan can’t attack what God hasn’t given him license to and I think some of this is what was happening to me last night-no exaggeration!  This is what the devil did to Job and was so bad at one point that Job’s own wife told him to “curse God and die!”  No one likes to see anyone they love suffering but this impatience for God’s will for us to be healed in His perfect time plays right into Satan’s hand.  In my view, Satan lost that battle last night as I was speaking. Hallelujah!

Last on the War Room agenda for the night was God’s command from Matthew 5:16 : “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  This is not be seen by men doing for ourselves like the hypocritical Pharisees did but to do things, ALL THINGS, for the glory of God!  This is the third role of the devil, played out in the life of David-The Ruler.

The ruler refers to the ruler of this world and that is our enemy, Satan. David was a man after God’s own heart but he found himself under devilish influences often in his long life.  His rule, when it was influenced by Satan, led to his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. Worse yet, this independence in David led him to take a census of the number of people he controlled in his kingdom. Failing to glorify God at all, this led to a plague that ended the lives of over 70,000 people!  This is a lesson for us-when we fail to walk in closeness with our Lord and Savior, we willingly choose to open ourselves up to destruction. When Israel finally died in 70 A.D. it was nearly 1900 years before God allowed it to return.

Be independent from anyone or anything you like, except God.

See you at the next session and thanks again, Jack!